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Posted: 07/05/2022

Does My Vehicle Need a Complete Brake Job?

We've all heard the phrase "full brake job" before. But what does a complete brake repair entail? Is it getting new brake pads, or are the rotors also required? Understanding what’s involved will help you communicate with your technician when taking your vehicle in for this typical maintenance operation.

How to Know Your Brakes Are Going Bad

You're driving along and notice that your brake pedal feels "spongy" when you depress it. When you press harder, the brake pedal sinks almost to the floor before engaging.

Another sign that your brake system needs attention is a brake warning light on your vehicle's dash. This could indicate a problem with the brake fluid level, brake pads or rotors.

If you hear grinding or squealing noises coming from your brakes, that's also an indication that brake repair is necessary. These sounds occur when the brake pads have worn down and are no longer making proper contact with the brake rotors.

Of course, if your vehicle is pulling to one side or the other when you brake, that's another sign that brake service is required.

What's Involved in a brake job?

A complete brake job consists of several different parts:

  • New brake pads or shoes

  • New brake rotors or drums

  • Brake fluid flush

  • In some cases, new brake calipers

Brake Pads and Shoes

The first step is to inspect the brake system to determine which parts need to be replaced. The brake pads are the most common item that needs to be replaced. In some cases, the brake shoes and/or brake rotors may also need to be replaced. A brake pad is a steel backing plate with a brake friction material bonded to it. brake shoes are similar, but they're used on vehicles with brake drums instead of rotors.

brake pads

Brake Calipers

If the brake pads need to be replaced, a technician will also inspect the brake calipers and brake rotors. The brake calipers are what hold the brake pads in place and can become damaged or worn out over time. If the brake calipers are damaged, they will need to be replaced. A brake caliper works by using brake fluid to press the brake pads against the brake rotors.

brake calipers

Brake Rotors and Drums

The brake rotors (on a disc brake system) or brake drums (on a drum brake system) provide a surface for the brake pads to press against. Over time, they can become worn out or damaged and will need to be replaced.

brake rotors

Brake Fluid Flush

A brake fluid flush is when all of the brake fluid is removed from the brake system and replaced with new brake fluid. This is done to remove any contaminants that may be in the brake fluid. Brake fluid can become contaminated over time, so it's important to have a brake fluid flush every few years.

If you're experiencing any of the problems mentioned above, it's time to take your vehicle in for brake repair. A complete brake job will ensure that your brake system is operating properly and will keep you safe on the road.

brake fluid flush

Your Auto Part Source

Arnold Motor Supply has been a leading supplier of auto parts since 1927. Founded and based in Iowa, we have auto parts stores all over the midwest. Order auto parts online and you'll be notified via email once your purchase is ready for pickup at your local Arnold Motor Supply or Auto Value parts store. 

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