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service areas March 02, 2018

Stay Safe! Get Timely Brake Repair to Avoid Accidents Near Centreville, VA

Warning Signs of Needed Brake Repairs

Keeping your brakes in prime condition is essential if you want to avoid accidents. If your brakes need repair near Centreville, VA even a simple trip down a hill can end in disaster. That’s why regular inspections, preventive maintenance, and quick fixing is the key to car safety.

The experts at Wiygul Automotive Clinic have put together this short primer on brakes, what they do, how to tell if you are having problems and typical types of brake repair near Centreville, VA.

What Do Your Brakes Do?

The brake system in your car consists of the:

  • Pedal
  • Cylinder
  • Fluid
  • Calipers
  • Pads
  • Rotors

As you approach a stop light, you press down on the brake pedal. This triggers the brake cylinder, which sends the brake fluid to the calipers. This is the step that engages the brake pads, which apply to put pressure on the rotors. At this point, friction is created, which stops your car.

That sounds a little complicated, but you don’t need to know the actual steps. When your brakes are in good working condition, all of this happens seamlessly. What you experience is the ability to stop where and when you need to.

It shows how complicated the system is, requiring numerous parts to work flawlessly every time you need to slow down and stop your car. That’s why regular brakes inspections are so important.

As a driver, you can also tell if your brakes are beginning to have problems. As the components age and the more they use, they start to deteriorate. Parts need to be replaced as part of scheduled maintenance. If something is damaged, then your car needs quick and professional brake repair near Centreville, VA.

How Can I Tell If They Aren’t Working Correctly?

There are warning signs that will give you a heads-up that your vehicle is having brake problems. By listening for unfamiliar sounds and being aware of unusual actions in your car, you can often tell right away that your car needs brake repair near Centreville, VA.

When you drive the same car regularly, you get familiar with its normal sounds and idiosyncrasies. Looking and listening can tell you a lot about the state of your brakes.

Do you suddenly hear a screeching sound when you hit the brakes, especially one that is high pitched? That means that a metal shim, referred to as an indicator, is emitting a warning that the brake pads need replacing.

As a rule, it is quite audible even if your windows are closed. However, it would be difficult to hear it if the air conditioner is also on. If you start to hear it on a regular basis, make an appointment for brake repair near Centreville, VA.

There is one exception to this, which indicates a problem that will go away. This occurs when your car has just been washed or been out in the rain. This moisture can make a very thin layer of rust to form on the brake rotors. This is very normal. After this occurs, the first time you use your brakes, the pads will be pressing down on rotors with a slight rust covering. This often causes a slight squealing sound until the rust wears off. It will stop happening quickly.

You can visually check your brake pads too. Look through the open area between wheel spokes. The outside pad will be pushed against the rotor. Look to be sure that there is at least a quarter inch of pad. Less than that is dangerous. It means you need to have them inspected and probably replaced.

“My Brakes Feel Like They Are Sinking”

This is another sign that you need brake repair near Centreville, VA. When you press on the pedal, and it isn’t as responsive as usual, it might mean that there is a leak somewhere in your brake system. It could be either:

  • A leaking of brake fluid
  • An air leak in the brake hose

One indicator that you are dealing with a fluid leak is under the car. Check to see if there is a puddle of fluid under the car when it has been parked for awhile. It won’t be large, and it looks a lot like motor oil.

“My Car Is Pulling to One Side”

If your car feels like it is pulling to one side or the other each time you brake, it usually means one of two conditions have developed. Here is a look at each of them:

  • Your brake lining is wearing unevenly. In this case, you need to take it in for brake repair near Centreville, VA, to get an adjustment.
  • Foreign matter has worked its way into your brake fluid. A technician can drain your old brake fluid and replace it with new.

“I Keep Hearing a Grinding Sound”

Do you hear a metallic sound when you press down on the brakes? It means that your pads have been completely worn down. This is time for quick action. Take your car in immediately for brake repair near Centreville, VA. Technicians can replace the pads, and your brakes will work correctly again.

The grinding or growling sound you hear is the result of two sections of metal, the disc and the caliper, rubbing on one another. This in turn scratches the rotors, which causes an uneven surface to form. This can result in the rotors needing turning or replacing.

“My Car Keeps Vibrating When I Brake”

If your car vibrates when you push down the brake pedal, it usually indicates one of two conditions have developed:

  • Your rotors have warped, usually from braking for long periods.
  • Your car is out of alignment. You need to take it in for a professional alignment.

Your rotors can warp after a period of heavy braking. For example, this can easily happen if you drive your car down a very steep mountain or if you tow a boat. This causes a great deal of friction, which heats the rotors and results in the warping. You feel the vibration because your brake pads can’t grab the surface evenly.

If you drive under conditions that might cause the warping, it is a good idea to periodically stop the car. This lets your brakes cool down.

What Is a Brake Inspection?

Now you know what to look for. As the normal driver for your vehicle, you are the first line of defense when it comes to spotting problems early. But you don’t have the training and the tools to catch everything quickly.

That’s why you need to take your car in for a brake inspection on a regular basis. You can actually avoid most brake repair near Centreville, VA, by having this done as part of your scheduled maintenance.

Skilled car technicians can spot problems early by looking at:

  • Hoses
  • Pads
  • Cylinders
  • Calipers
  • Rotors
  • Springs and adjusters
  • Parking brake cables
  • Condition of the fluid
  • Wheel bearings and grease seals
  • Fluid exchange in the master cylinder
  • Brake inspections are typically done once a year. If you notice one of the problems mentioned in this article, then take your vehicle in right away, even if a year hasn’t passed. This is worth the time it takes because the technicians can spot problems early before repair and replacement get expensive. It also keeps you and your family safe on the road.

Trust the Experts in Brake Repair Near Centreville, VA

    Wiygul Automotive Clinic handles all types of automotive services for a wide range of vehicles. The experts on staff have years of experience that helps them spot problems quickly and repair them professionally.

    In addition to brake repair near Centreville, VA, Wiygul Automotive Clinic handles engine repair, muffler/exhaust systems, engine repair, suspension and alignment and electrical service. They are one of the biggest selections of tires for a wide variety of vehicles and needs.

    The pros at Wiygul Automotive Clinic recommend that you take your vehicle in on a scheduled plan to have preventive maintenance done. This keeps your vehicle in top driving condition and keeps you safe while driving.

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