Brake Repairs and Service
Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto knows you need the confidence of knowing when you press your foot to the brake, your vehicle is coming to a stop. Your car’s brakes should be examined at least once a year for the safety of you and your family. Preserving your vehicle’s brakes is among the most crucial measures you could take and Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto offers quality, affordable brake service in Virginia and surrounding areas.
Brakes are one of the most important safety attributes on your vehicle. There are 2 types of braking systems on most cars; traditional brakes and anti-lock braking system (ABS). A typical braking system is composed of the rotor, the caliper, and brake pads or shoes. If your brake pads wear and are not changed, the rotors could need to be replaced as well.
What you need to know about Brake Repairs and Service in Virginia
Why brake repair is essential: In order to properly stop your car, brake pads have to be in functioning condition and not worn down to the rotors. Because brakes are a system you use every time you use your car, don’t ignore any sort of complications. Even small changes may indicate your brakes need repair. For ideal performance and safety, have our team at Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto check and service your brakes routinely.
Virginia Brake Repair Service Tips
Follow these pointers to help keep your brakes working effectively:
- Have your brakes inspected at least once a year, and more often if you typically drive in city traffic or live in a location with a lot of hills
- Never drive with the parking brake on
- Have brake fluid checked and changed as required, but if you have to add fluid more than every couple of months, you may have a leak
Have your mechanic at Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto check your brakes right away if you observe any of the following:
- A high-pitched squeak when you push the brakes
- A scraping or grinding sound when not braking, this also can be a sign of a brake or bearing problem and must be checked immediately
- Shaking or vibration during braking
- Using more pressure than normal when trying to stop
The quicker you inspect problems and have a brake pad replacement performed, the safer your automobile will be. Prolonging brake concerns may cause other more costly auto repairs. Serving the Virginia and surrounding areas, Hogan & Sons Tire and Auto is thrilled to be your number one auto repair shop and provider of tires. Call us to schedule an appointment for a brake inspection today.
The Best Brake Repair Services at Hogan & Sons
Like most automotive systems, your braking system is precision-engineered and includes many moving parts. Of course, the fact that this system includes so many components means that there are ample opportunities for it to run into trouble. When that happens, you may need to visit a brake shop in the area for one or more brake maintenance or repair services.
Hogan & Sons proudly serves as Virginia’s one-stop brake shop. Visit us when you need brake services such as the following:
Any successful brake service begins with an assessment of your brakes’ current condition. Since Hogan & Sons employs the area’s most qualified mechanics, this will take us no time at all. When your inspection is finished, our technicians will get started on whatever repair or maintenance services you need.
Getting a brake inspection is a good idea when you spot signs of trouble in your car’s braking system. However, that isn’t the only time you should get this task taken care of. At the bare minimum, consider visiting your local Hogan & Sons brake shop for an annual brake inspection. Getting this service closer to every six months or 6,000 miles is a good idea for most drivers.
Brake Pad Replacement
Though brake systems are highly complicated, they work by generating enough friction to slow your car down or stop it in its tracks. In many brake systems, a component playing an integral role in this process is brake pads. These pads are squeezed against the rotor by the piston, creating the friction your brakes rely on.
Since they are exposed to so much friction, even the best brake pads will only last so long. When your brake pads start to wear out, get a high-quality replacement set from Hogan & Sons!
Brake Fluid Flush
Have you had an oil change at some point? If you’ve been driving for more than a few months, the answer is almost certainly “yes.” This service is crucial because it lets you replace your old, dirty motor oil with highly effective fresh oil. Still, oil isn’t the only fluid your car uses, and products such as brake fluid can also collect debris.
Depending on whether your car uses a disc or drum brake system, the actual function brake fluid serves will vary. Either way, this fluid is vital to the performance of any modern-day auto brake system. Dirt and grime can reduce brake fluid’s effectiveness, so old motor oil needs to be replaced with a brake fluid flush.
The services listed above can often resolve whatever’s wrong with your brake system. However, getting this system back in shape sometimes requires the in-depth work only dedicated brake shops can provide. When your brakes require attention, leave this job to the professionals.
Some prominent warning signs indicating that you may need brake repair may include the following:
- Odd grinding or squealing sounds
- Reduced pedal resistance when you brake
- Pulling to one side while braking
- Pedal vibrations during the braking process
- Needing extra stopping distance
- Yellow brake fluid puddles under your car
Are you looking for more brake services? Let Hogan & Sons know if you need wheel bearing repacking, rotor resurfacing, or any other work related to your brake system.
How Do Auto Brakes Work?
If your brake system isn’t fully functional, you won’t be able to drive safely. Furthermore, you could put yourself, your passengers, and other motorists at risk. However, few Virginia drivers know how their auto brakes actually work. While you don’t need to know exactly how every brake part functions if you don’t work at a brake shop, it’s wise to have a broad understanding of this crucial system.
The moment you push down on your brake pedal, your car’s master cylinder begins to pressurize the hydraulic brake lines in this system. These lines are connected to each of your car’s wheels. When they are pressurized, your brake shoes or pads push against a drum or disc, creating the friction required to stop your vehicle.
The friction created by your braking system is something of a double-edged sword. Yes, this force is vital to your brakes’ functionality (and your ability to drive safely in Virginia), but it also puts a great deal of strain on your brake components, including calipers, rotors, and brake shoes/pads. That’s why your brake system should get regular check-ups from the expert mechanics at Hogan & Sons.
Don’t Overpay for Brake Repair
For the most part, brake service isn’t as cost-intensive as some types of car repair. That said, it can come with some significant expenses — especially if you’re dealing with unexpected brake failure.
In the event of a brake-related emergency, you might be tempted to find the closest brake shop to fix it. Instead, you should look for a garage that provides quotes for repairing and maintaining brakes. Auto shops that offer quotes have nothing to hide regarding their pricing, making them the best choice for most motorists.
At Hogan & Sons, we provide quotes for all our services. Better yet, thanks to our online coupons and financing options, we’ll help you save even more than you might expect!
Frequently Asked Questions
Brake pads contain sacrificial friction materials that wear away with use. How long your brake pads last depends on several factors. For instance, if you tend to drive aggressively, your brake pads will tend to wear faster. Same goes for hard stops and “riding the brakes”. Driving in urban stop-and-go traffic will also result in faster wear, as will driving through hill country with steep elevation changes, or on gravel roads. Hauling heavy loads and pulling trailers will also affect the lifespan of your brake pads.
The composition of the friction material on your brake pads is also a factor in pad life. Semi-metallic brake pads intended for heavy-duty and performance use, for instance, tend to last longer than organic pads, though not as long as ceramics. The type of brake pad you choose will impact the performance of your brake system and the life of your brake pads.
Typically, a set of brake pads can last anywhere from 30K to 60K miles.
When brake pads are at the end of their useful life, they will send you a sign. Many modern vehicles are equipped with brake pad wear sensors that trigger a dashboard icon to light up when pads are nearing time for replacement. This icon is not to be confused with the brake system warning light that signals a problem with the system. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for information on each type of dashboard warning light). If you notice the brake pad life monitor light appearing on your dash display, it is time to schedule brake repair service.
Worn brake pads may also be detected during a brake system inspection. Hogan & Sons offers a comprehensive Courtesy Check when you get your oil changed. As part of the service, a technician will inspect your brake system, including the condition of your brake pads.
Your brake pads are also equipped with a mechanical device called a wear indicator. When a brake pad is close to the end of its life, the wear indicator will touch the surface of the brake rotor and let out a high-pitched squeal when you brake. This annoying sound is meant to let you know it is time for new brake pads.
You may notice that your brake pedal travels closer to the floor as your brake pads wear thin. Or you might feel a pulsation or vibration if they wear unevenly. These are also signs that your pads need to be replaced.
Finally, if you have ignored all of the previous signs, your brakes will certainly let you know it is time for a change. Once the friction material is fully depleted, the backing plates on your brake pads will make metal-to-metal contact with the rotors. When this happens, you will hear an ugly grinding or scraping sound as you press on the pedal. At this point, your rotors will likely be in need of replacement as well.
If you let your brake pads wear too thin, damage to your rotors will occur and require replacement. But do you always need new rotors when you have your brake pads replaced? Not necessarily. While they are not considered to be “wear” items in the way brake pads are, brake rotors do wear down. Through a process called resurfacing, where a tiny amount of the rotor surface is removed, a rotor can be renewed. As long as it does not fall below a minimum thickness requirement.
It used to be common practice to resurface the rotors every time the pads were changed to remove inconsistencies and evidence of wear. But the rotors on today’s vehicles are thinner and lighter weight than in the past. There is not a lot of material to remove and many simply cannot be machined any thinner. Fortunately, the cost of new rotors has dropped, making it more affordable to replace them when they are worn.
Whether or not they need to be replaced depends also on the recommendation of the vehicle manufacturer. Some suggest replacing only the pads the first time they wear out and the rotors the next. Others recommend replacing the rotors every time. Still others say that the rotors can be resurfaced as long as they remain within specifications. The technicians at Hogan & Sons can access the specific data about the process for your vehicle.
While most vehicles feature four-wheel disc brake systems, some do not. Trucks often have disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear, as did many older vehicles. Some cars from decades past even had four-wheel drum brakes.
But what is the difference? Where a disc brake system includes a spinning rotor (the disc) and a pair of brake pads that squeeze against the outside of the rotor, a drum brake system consists of a flat bowl or drum with a set of shoes that press against the inside. Drum brakes are less effective at dissipating heat and less effective in wet conditions. They can also be more difficult to repair. But they are cheaper to manufacture and are therefore still used on some vehicles.
The anti-lock brake system (or ABS) on your vehicle works together with your brakes to prevent the wheels from locking up when you stop suddenly on loose gravel or slippery surfaces. When the tires stop rolling and begin instead to skid, you lose control of your ability to steer your vehicle. ABS uses a computer-controlled pump to alternately squeeze and release your brakes in rapid-fire fashion when sensors detect that one or more wheels have stopped rotating. The ABS on your system is another important safety feature and should be inspected regularly to detect any issues.