Things to Know About Your Braking System - Service Questions at Capitol Chevrolet

Today's automotive safety systems are impressive, but it's the brake system that remains the most important. The brakes in your car essentially consist of a hydraulic clamp that slows and stops the rotation of the wheels. With regular inspections and maintenance, your brake system should remain reliable and affordable without major car brake repair. However, if your brakes are squealing, grinding, or the vehicle shudders when you step on the brakes, they'll need expert attention. Below, we take a brief look at six things we think are important to understand about your brakes in order to stay safe while getting the most for your money.

If the squeal persists while driving and not pressing the brake, it's likely the brake pads still need to be replaced. However, this may also be an indication that the pressure on the pads is not being released. That could mean that something is wrong with a brake caliper.

At Capitol Chevrolet, our factory-authorized service center has seen just about anything that could go wrong with a car, and we're proud to help maintain the vehicles of drivers throughout the greater Salem, OR area. If you have any questions about car brake maintenance, service, repair, or anything else your vehicle may need, contact us today. It's easy to schedule a service appointment online, or simply stop by our location when it's convenient at 2855 Maple Ave Ne, Salem, OR 97301.

Car Brake Pads and Rotors 

6. Squealing Brakes While Driving

This is one of the most common brake issues we see in our GM authorized service center. Fortunately, if you bring the vehicle in as soon as you hear the squeal, it's typically no big deal. That's because most modern brake pads are equipped with an indicator tab that will make a high-pitched squeal when the pads have worn out. The important thing here is to have the brake pads replaced as soon as you hear that squeal associated with hitting the brakes. Otherwise, the remaining pad material can wear completely away. That means the hydraulic clamp will be pressing the metal brake pad backing against the metal rotors, which often leads to more costly brake repair.

5. Brakes Grinding When Coming To a Stop

This is usually what you'll get once the brake pad material is worn away completely. When the brakes apply pressure and clamp the metal backing of the brake pad against the metal rotors, you're more likely to hear, and even feel, a grinding. In this scenario, you'll usually need to have the brake rotors replaced since the damage is often too deep for resurfacing.

Bad Car Brake Rotor

4. Vehicle Shudders When Brakes Are Applied

If it feels like the whole vehicle is shaking like it was driving over a rough road each time you apply the brakes, it's likely that your brake rotors are warped or otherwise damaged. These are the large shiny discs you can usually see through your front wheels, and it's the part that the brake pads clamp to. If it's not perfectly smooth and straight, you're likely to experience problems. It may be that the whole vehicle shudders, or you may only feel it in the brake pedal. Either way, it's time to get the brakes repaired on your car.

3. Brake Repair in Salem, OR

If you're comfortable with a wrench and modern brake systems, getting your brakes repaired probably means clearing a Saturday, grabbing your OEM brake parts from an authorized parts department, and hope you didn't forget anything when you take the wheels off. However, we think there's an easier way. Whether your car just needs new brake pads, rotors, or something more substantial, swing through our service center at Capitol Chevrolet where our expert technicians will get the job done correctly and quickly.

Bleeding Brake Lines

2. Brake Maintenance Near Keizer, OR

The best way to avoid things like brake grinding or warped rotors is to keep up with good brake maintenance. Not only does this mean having the pads replaced once they've worn low, but it also means getting the brake fluid flushed occasionally. Since the brakes are a hydraulic system, they need a special fluid to work. Today, brake fluid is rated and approved by the Department of Transportation, and manufacturers like Chevrolet design their brake systems to work with specific fluid.

Fortunately, a brake fluid flush is not something your vehicle will need that often. Check the owner's manual or speak with an advisor at an authorized service center like ours at Capitol Chevrolet, serving Dallas, OR and beyond, to find out how often you should have the brake fluid flushed and replaced.

1. Get Your Vehicle's Brakes Inspected Regularly

While the squeal we mentioned in #6 is your last warning before the brake pad material is worn away, it's better to catch low brake pads sooner. That's why we strongly recommend regular brake inspections. When your vehicle is in for other basic maintenance like tire rotations, it's also a great time to have a technician inspect the brakes since the wheels will be removed. With these regular brake inspections, safety and reliability can be maintained with little more than an occasional brake pad replacement service and brake fluid flush.

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Capitol Chevrolet
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Salem, OR

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