Investigating your vehicle’s brake system
We've all heard the phrase “complete brake job.” But what is involved with a complete brake job? Is it getting new brake pads? Or is it getting the rotors replaced? When you understand the steps in this common repair job, you'll be able to better understand and converse with your mechanic.
When you take your vehicle to a reputable mechanic for a complete brake job, the first important step is a thorough examination of your vehicle's brake system.
Replace any cracked, chaffed, swollen, or leaking hoses
Change steel lines that are leaking kinked, badly corroded or damaged
Rebuild or replace a leaking caliper or wheel cylinder
Replace caliper if it has a seized piston or guide pins (look for uneven pad wear)
Check for master cylinder leaks or a brake pedal that sinks to the floor
Inspect rotors and drums and measure for wear, heat cracks, warping, rust or other damage; replace if there is any irresparable damage
Change the brake hardware when replacing brake pads or shoes
Replace shoe retaining clips and return springs on drum brakes
Replace self-adjusters if they are corroded or frozen
Service wheel bearings on most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive cars
Lubricate key areas like shoe pads and caliper slides with high temperature brake lubricant
Check brake fluid, flush the brake fluid and bleed all the lines if needed
Examine, and then adjust the parking brake
Resolve any ABS system fault codes or replace any faulty components like wheel speed sensors, accumulator or hydraulic modulator
Once your mechanic has gone through these steps and has returned your vehicle to you, you can rest assured that your brake system is in top working order. When you press down on the brake pedal, your car will stop just as you expect it to.
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