Brake Shop in Gilbert, AZ
STOP what you’re doing and schedule a brake service today!
You don’t want to change your brake pads more often than you have to. So when is it time for a brake repair? Here are the variables that go into answering that question.
There are always recommended intervals by both car manufacturers and brake pad manufacturers ranging from every 25,000 miles to every 70,000 miles. This is no exaggeration.
With such a wide gap, how do you know it’s really time for brake repair? At Highline, we believe there are two ways customers can be the expert when it comes to when to replace the brake pads on their own vehicle: use the same mechanic for all service and repairs, and understand at a very basic level, the vehicle braking system.
Let’s go through what actually happens when it’s time for your car to come in for a brake repair.
First we will pull off the old brake pads. There are several types of brake pads:
There are pros and cons to each of these types of brake pads from noise to brake dust. No matter which kind of pads you currently have installed, they each have friction material which is meant to wear down over time.
Once the brake pads are off, we will lube the calipers, slides and pins. If you want a better insight into how all these pieces work together, you can see our article, Everything You Wanted To Know About Brake Pads and Rotors.
Next, we will machine the rotors. (We’ll talk more about what machining rotors is and why we do it in the coming paragraphs.) Not every auto repair facility will do this, and though it costs a bit more, not doing it comes at the expense of your braking system and overall pocket book.
We will finish a brake repair service by installing the new pads, new shims and new anti-rattle clips.
While we have your vehicle, we will put it through our standard inspection to look for anything else that you may want to know about before going on your way. When the car is ready to go, you’ll speak with our Service Consultant team about any recommended future repairs and then you’re out the door!
As mentioned above, the best way to know it’s time for a brake repair service is to take your vehicle to the same shop for all service and repairs. Having a complete history and the opportunity to monitor your vehicle over time – much like a physician monitors your health – puts you in the driver’s seat and transforms your mechanic into your pilot, guiding you to the right repair at the right time.
This is what we do at Highline – we become your guide and advocate, helping you prioritize every service within the scope of time and finances.
Other symptoms or signs you can look for are quite obvious. Let’s itemize them below.
Grinding – that sound you hear when you apply the brakes and immediately think, “oh, that can’t be good.” It probably isn’t. When you hear grinding it doesn’t always mean that your brakes are completely destroyed. However, it does mean that you need to get your car to a shop before you go anywhere else. No exceptions.
You need to know what’s going on.
Squealing – typically customers associate squealing with something being wrong with the brakes, however, there are actually a few other reasons your brakes will squeal or start squealing.
First, most brakes have a warning indicator that will squeal when your pads are getting low. “Hey, listen up, it’s time to get your pads looked at.” Kind of nice of the manufacturer to give you a heads up, isn’t it?
Another reason you’ll hear squealing when you apply your brakes is because the brake pads you are using are on the cheaper end of the quality spectrum. Cheaply made brake pads will produce larger amounts of brake dust and when this dust is introduced to the rotors, it will create a squealing sound.
It’s a good idea, if you notice your brakes starting to squeal, to have your braking system looked at. You’ll have peace of mind knowing if it’s simply a byproduct of your pads or if there is an issue that needs correction.
Our technicians replace cheap, squeaky brakes all the time that have been self-installed, many using so-called “lifetime” pads. The problem with lifetime pads is that they are incredibly hard and cause damage to your rotors – not to mention they are responsible for all sorts of weird sounds.
We would like to note that as of this writing, and since we began using our premium brake pad service in 2010, Highline has never had a ‘squeak’ complaint.
Shops that are in the business of having the lowest prices in town will often omit machining rotors from their brake service – or worse, they will not include machining rotors in the price that brings customers through the door and then tack it on once they have the wheels off.
We machine rotors on every brake pad replacement, and include it in our standard cost because we value the long-term health of your braking system as well as a long-term relationship with each customer.
When you machine your rotors you get more life out of your pads, more life out of your rotors, a better braking experience and save money on replacing braking system parts earlier than vehicles that continue to use uneven rotors.
A note from our owner, Wes Hawkins: I personally machined the rotors from my wife’s vehicle on five or six different occasions to get rid of a pulsation. When we purchased our on-car lathe – a tool that allows us to machine rotors while still on the vehicle – it took one time to be rid of the pulsation. Her braking system has been perfect for nearly a year now.
The belief that it’s in our customer’s best interest for rotors to be machined during every brake pad replacement is so strong that it has become our policy – we will not replace pads without machining the rotors. As a matter of fact, we will also machine BRAND NEW rotors because the factory standards are not tight enough. We provide a proper and precise finish on a ‘rotor by rotor’ basis – something factories simply cannot provide.
One side note for European vehicle owners – most European rotors must be replaced. They are engineered to wear out along with the brake pads. We keep this information in front of customers who it applies to, no need for any surprises when the time comes.
If you ask our customers what they appreciate about our shop, nearly all will mention something about the speed with which we operate – without sacrificing quality and safety.
We are a family oriented auto repair shop. Time is the one thing you can’t buy more of, and a vehicle being down for any reason is a big sacrifice for you and your family. If you can schedule ahead of time to bring your car in, we will make space; it will take less than two hours per axle. If you’re having all four wheels serviced, we will aim for under four hours.
When you arrive on the day you want your brake pads replaced, whether scheduled or simply walking in, we will let you know your estimated wait time so you can make arrangements.
Bottom line, we’ll work hard to get it taken care of quickly and efficiently.
If you haven’t had a conversation about your brake pads with a technician in the last 12 months, we recommend having the conversation as soon as possible. When you bring your vehicle to Highline Car Care to have that conversation, we will ask you to check in and make a note of anything you’d like us to look at – make sure to mention your brakes.
One of our awesome Service Consultants will pass along the notes to a technician who will pull your vehicle into one of our service bays. The technician will go through a 19 or 34 point safety/maintenance inspection (depending on your vehicle) and will examine your brake system.
Once we have a look at the brake pads, rotors, calipers and overall brake system, we will then make a recommendation for what service needs to be done immediately (if any), along with future service related to the braking system and your vehicle.
Caring for your vehicle is not something that we take for granted. We love the work we do, we love our customers and we love the city we call home. It is a pleasure every time we get to help people and we would be honored if you would allow us to help you when it is time for a brake pad replacement.