Things to Know About Vehicle Brakes - Service Questions in Salem, OR

The brake system is the single most important safety feature on your car. You want to be confident that your car is going to stop quickly and safely every time you press down on the brake pedal. That means keeping an eye on your vehicle's brakes and having the brake linings replaced as necessary.

We're here to help at Capitol Chevy! We've compiled four tips for taking care of your car's brakes. We'll tell you how long the brake pads will last, and describe some common brake system issues so you know what to look out for.

What should you know about your Chevrolet brakes

#4: How Long do the Brakes Last?

That depends on what you mean by "brakes."

Certain parts of the brake system -- like the calipers or the master cylinder -- will only need to be replaced if they become significantly damaged. Under normal driving circumstances, these components will last the life of the vehicle.

The brake linings, on the other hand will need to be routinely replaced. The brake linings are the brake pads or shoes in your car. These parts are coated with a thick layer of a special high-friction material that helps to slow down your car. However, that material is softer than the metal components the linings slide against -- which means it wears away over time.

Chevrolet's official site tells us that, under normal use, a new set of brake pads should last between 40,000-60,000 miles on your car. Brakes that experience more severe use may only last 20,000-25,000 miles before they need to be replaced. Severe brake use includes heavy stop-and-go traffic, lots of descents down steep hills and aggressive, racing-style braking.

You'll know your brake linings are ready to be replaced when they start to squeak or squeal when you press the brake pedal. Next, we'll discuss ways you can tell the other components of your brake system may be in need of repair.

Schedule any brake system service in Salem, OR

#3: This Pedal Doesn't Go All the Way to the Metal

A brake pedal that feels mushy, soft and falls to the floor when pressed is a sign that there's a problem with your car's brake system. You likely have a problem with a brake fluid leak, or a problem with a component called the brake master cylinder. The brake master cylinder is what turns the motion of the pedal when you press it into hydraulic pressure that engages the brakes and slows you down.

When everything is working well, you should be able to press the brake gently for normal driving, with plenty of extra room in the pedal travel for quick emergency stops. If your brake pedal hits the floor, bring your vehicle to our service center for a full brake diagnostic.

Learn what signs show you need brake repair for your Chevy model

#2: What About the Brake Rotors?

The brake rotors are the metal part on which your brake pads press down to create the friction that slows down your car. These parts are designed to last a lot longer on your car than brake pads, but they can become subtly damaged over time. They can warp and become uneven from the stresses of intense braking. The most common way that people notice bad brake rotors is when their car begins to vibrate and shake under braking. As the brake pads pass over the warped rotors, the motion of the brakes translates to shaking in the cabin. That means it's time for new brake rotors.

#1: Stuck Calipers are a Drag

If one of your brake calipers starts to go bad, or if there's a problem elsewhere in the system, one of your brakes could get stuck in the engaged position. This is called a "dragging brake" and it's a big problem for obvious reasons. Driving with a dragging brake will mean your car gets very poor gas mileage, as the engine is always having to overcome the brake. It also puts additional wear and tear on the brake system. You may need to replace the brake caliper and rotor if you drive too long on a dragging brake.

To get the best stopping power from your brakes, and make them last as long as possible, simply follow these tips and trust the pros in our service department at Capitol Chevrolet. We can replace your brake pads and make any necessary brake system repairs, and we'll do the work right!

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Capitol Chevrolet Cadillac

2855 Maple Ave Ne
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 1-503-585-4141
  • Service: 1-503-585-4141
  • Parts: 1-503-585-4141