Brakes. It’s what’s stopping you!

Hector working on vehicle

At Foothill Auto Service in Lake Forest, our clients are often most impressed with our honesty, quality, and fast auto repair turnaround time. A quick auto repair is always appreciated, but when it’s one’s brakes that are hurting, it’s valued even more. When you, unfortunately, begin to hear squeaking or vibrations coming from your vehicle’s floor, it’s time to see the experts at Foothill Auto Service in Lake Forest, CA. For our May blog, we have decided to focus on brakes & how you can better prepare yourself as a vehicle owner.

There’s no doubt that brakes are one of your vehicle’s most critical safety features. The vehicle brake system consists of mechanical parts and the anti-lock or ABS. The ABS part of your vehicle’s brake system includes actuators, modulators, and other sensors & overtime, parts wear down and need service or replacement.

Before we jump into more profound, more time-consuming brake issues, here are some Easy-Fix Solutions to High-Pitch Problems

Small rocks, dust, or sand can quickly get into the insides of one’s car. A quick wipe or a blower can take those bits of debris out, and you’ll be driving squeak-free again.
Sometimes we can blame mother nature for squeak brakes. Colder areas cause brakes to squeak, and if you live in icy regions, it could just be the weather!
No lubrication on the brakes can result in a squealing sound if the backing plate and other brake components aren’t properly lubricated.
Excessive weight in your vehicle can cause the brakes to overheat, which can cause damage resulting in noise. Try avoiding overloading your vehicle to prevent this & stick with the essentials!
Not enough fluids, if your brake system is improperly lubricated, sticking, or seized calipers, it often causes noises when the brakes are being applied or not.

What Noise Is This?

Squeaking
If your ears hear a groan or squeak when you press down on the brakes, the pad material itself may be the source. When new brake pads overheat before being adequately broken, they can become ‘glazed.’ On some occasions scuffing the friction material can reduce the effects of overheating. But sometimes the pads themselves are worn too thin & then you must replace them with new parts, or further damage will occur.

Rattling
If there is a rattling or clunking noise present, our technicians will inspect and replace the brake pad shims and mounting hardware. Friction causes these to rub against each other, creating the rattling. If the brake pad assembly has excessive clearance and too much adjustment or shimming is required, replacing the brake pad set may be necessary to stop the rattling completely.

Dragging
If the noise is due to your brake’s dragging, you should seek an experienced mechanic to diagnose the source of the issue. Dragging is the most serious sound & feeling that one can experience & should be taken care of quickly. When you press on your brakes & you feel excessive resistance, our technicians will check the caliper piston boot for cracks, breakage, poor sealing, and possible water entry into the caliper piston cavity. It’s best to get this fixed immediately as other problems quickly occur.

Vibrations Have You Down?
It’s an unsettling feeling when your car shakes when you brake. This means something is wrong. If the shaking only occurs when you’re braking while driving, particularly on a vehicle with front or all-wheel disc brakes.

Brake Light Warning Colors
Our brake systems primarily rely on two or three warning lights. The primary and most concerning light is the RED warning lamp, which usually says “BRAKE” in red letters. The red brake light can mean that fluid is low, the system pressure is low, the parking brake is on, or another significant brake system malfunction. See your repair shop immediately.

The yellow ABS light is concerning but not as much of an emergency. This lamp means that the Anti-Lock brakes have a fault. Generally, this is a sensor failure and is less urgent than a RED brake light. Troubleshooting the ABS requires an educated technician and factory-specific scan tools. Do not replace parts based on trouble codes alone!

Extending Your Brake’s Life
The most effective thing to help your brakes expand their lifetime is to brake conservatively. The hotter your brakes get (a sudden stop), the faster they may wear out. Going along with braking conservatively comes with intelligent driving practices. When you stay aware of your surroundings and what other vehicles are around you, you can save your brake parts from extra unnecessary wear & abrupt use.

Be Observant: If you are preparing for a long trip or know you will be driving for long periods in the future, pay attention to any signs of potential brake trouble to take care of them well before traveling. All of the odd noises mentioned previously should be addressed before long travel times. Trust us, the last thing you want is brake problems with loaded cars hundreds of miles from home.

Change That Fluid!
Brake fluid is an essential part of your braking system. It keeps it all working smoothly and, it occasionally needs to be replaced & changed. Exchanging your brake fluid ensures your brakes are properly pressurized and reactive when you press on the brake pedal (essential.) Our experts at Foothill Auto Service can recommend the appropriate fluid schedule for your specific vehicle.

Outstanding Brake Review
There are honest mechanics, and Glenn is the ONE!

I took our vehicle to Glenn to replace the rotators, four brakes, and tie rod, only to be told that the front brakes and tie rod needed to be replaced. He saved me a lot of $$, and his price was half of what a nearby “chain tire store” quoted me. Glenn also guarantees his work.

Take the time and experience top-level professional customer service! You won’t be disappointed. — LB W

We hope you enjoyed our May blog, all about brakes & how you can best prepare yourself as a driver. At Foothill Auto Service, we offer top-quality and honest service for your vehicle’s brakes. Call us today or schedule an appointment so we can take great care of you and your vehicle.

Make Foothill Auto Service your auto family; you won’t regret it!

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Written by Foothill Auto Service