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FREE Brake Inspection

Dunn Tire offers a FREE Brake Inspection Make sure your vehicle is safe – maintain your brakes! We offer FREE brake inspections to troubleshoot any potential issues. Don't put it off make an appointment today!


Top Warning Signs You Need New Brakes

There are several essential components to the brakes on your automobile. All of these parts should be checked at least once a year. Your vehicle's brakes are one feature that should always be in top working condition.

So how do you know if you have potential brake problems? Below are a few brake repair warning signs you should be aware of. If you experience any of the following, you should immediately make an appointment to have your brakes serviced.

High pitch squeal

If you hear a high pitch squeal when you apply the brakes – this is a sign your brake pads are wearing low. There's a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. If you hear it this sound regularly – it's time to stop in and have your brakes serviced.

Fading or lack of responsiveness

If your brakes don't seem to have that "grip" they used to, or if the pedal "sinks" toward the floor when you apply a constant pressure, you could have a leak in your brake system. Either air is getting in, or brake fluid is getting out. Either way – you likely need brake repair service.

Pulling: When you press on the brakes, does your car "pull" to the left or right? Your brakes could be worn unevenly and in need of an adjustment.

Grinding or growling noises

When brake pads are completely worn out, the metal of the caliper will grind against the metal of your rotors. Not only is this extremely dangerous, as you have very little stopping power this way, but you are doing damage to your rotors. This may lead to additional repair costs – if you need to replace brake pads and rotors.

Vibration

If your brake pedal has a vigorous vibration when applied, you may have warped brake rotors. Rotors can be warped from long periods of sustained, heavy braking, such as driving down a steep incline or when towing. Keep in mind though; a vibration can also be caused by your car being out of alignment.

We can't emphasize enough the importance of maintaining effective brakes and stopping power. For the reliability and safety of your automobile and passengers, these are issues that cannot be ignored. If you are unsure about a noise or vibration coming from your vehicle, please stop in to have this situation checked out. We offer free visual inspections. The peace of mind alone is worth the visit. We always accept walk-ins, but encourage you to make an appointment in advance.


Why are my brakes sticking?

While not a common occurrence, brake calipers can stick at times, causing a serious safety issue. It typically feels like your brakes just don't release all the way. If your calipers are sticking, your vehicle may feel as if its' hesitating to move. There are several factors which may lead to sticking brakes – including lack of proper lubrication, bad brake line, old brake fluid, caliper slides, caliper bolts and caliper pistons.

In order to prevent sticking calipers and properly maintain your brakes:

  • Replace your brakes regularly by following the maintenance schedule which came with your vehicle
  • Inspect the calipers when performing brake maintenance and make sure you check the grooves for debris/rust
  • Replace brake lines at the first sign of wear
  • Your brake calipers should last for the life of the vehicle with proper maintenance.


Why do my brakes grind when I stop?

If your vehicle is making a grinding noise when braking – it is not something to ignore. When brake pads are completely worn out, the metal of the caliper will grind against the metal of your rotors. Not only is this extremely dangerous, as you have very little stopping power this way, but you are doing damage to your rotors. This may lead to additional repair costs – if you need to replace brake pads and rotors.


Why are my brakes making a weird noise?

If you hear a high pitch squeal when you apply the brakes – this is a sign your brake pads are wearing low. There's a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. If you hear it this sound regularly – it's time to stop in and have your brakes serviced.


How often should you check your brake pads and rotors?

As with many questions related to your vehicle – the frequency in which you should replace your brakes depends on your driving patterns. If you do more city driving, your brakes will wear our faster than driving on the open roads. The same can be said if you are an aggressive/fast driver, drive lots of miles, carry heavy loads in your vehicle, etc. There are many factors which can impact the life of your brake pads. Most vehicles should have their tires rotated at least every six months (or every 5,000 to 8,000 miles), and that is a good time to have the brakes inspected, as well. One of our mechanics can check the thickness of the pads and the condition of the brake hardware to spot wear.


When should I change my brake fluid?

You should have your vehicle's brake fluid tested once a year with a brake fluid test strip. The test strip will be able to indicate the condition of the additive package in the brake fluid. If the additive package is altered from its original condition, it is usually the result of moisture build up causing corrosion. If your brake fluid has a significant smell, your braking system likely has a problem that requires a mechanic's attention, not just a flush. If it is below the recommended level, it might have a leak. Many vehicle manufacturers recommend fluid replacement at regular intervals to maintain vehicle performance. Please consult your owner's manual for specific manufacturer recommendations.


Does this sound like your brakes? Make an Appointment Today!