Hitting The Brakes In Chesapeake

Safety should always be an essential element of your car care. So even if you don’t care about how your car looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Chesapeake car owners — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are essential parts that wear out or wear down, and it’s best to replace them before you have problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that’s a good sign that you need your brakes checked. Chesapeake drivers can also tell something is wrong with their brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate issues. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is essential to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disk brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor, which close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the van’s wheels, from turning.

When West Service Center, Inc. services your brake system, your honest tech checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at West Service Center, Inc. compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your van brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive in Chesapeake, but they also work better. Virginia car owners who want better and smoother braking, should consider upgrading. However, Chesapeake drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than your auto manufacturer’s recommendation.

After you your brake pads are checked at West Service Center, Inc., it’s essential to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will curtail your braking power. The pads just won’t be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your van. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to a dangerous and expensive accident in Chesapeake.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause harmful corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Chesapeake drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your van owner’s manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced or ask a honest service advisor at West Service Center, Inc.. We have been servicing brake systems in Chesapeake for 25 years. 

Remember, Chesapeake folks, safety first. It’s critical auto advice for all Chesapeake auto owners on the road. You’re not just protecting others; you’re protecting yourself.

Hitting The Brakes In Suffolk

Hello Chesapeake, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all Virginia drivers know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Chesapeake, Chesapeake and Suffolk.

Hitting The Brakes In SuffolkBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new van or truck rolls off a local Chesapeake showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the van. Chesapeake drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of auto makers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around Virginia, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at West Service Center, Inc. is important for your van and your family’s safety. At West Service Center, Inc. we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at West Service Center, Inc.. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the van fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at West Service Center, Inc. cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the van to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet Chesapeake area interstates and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Virginia drivers need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.