Auto Repair Santa Cruz

Phone (831) 425-1773

Brake Maintenance Service

Brake Inspection

Regular brake inspections not only provide peace of mind, but spot the necessary small repairs and avoid the bigger and more expensive ones.  How often you have your brakes inspected depends on your driving habits and the intervals that are recommended in your owner's manual for your make and model.  We recommend at a minimum that your brakes are inspected at your regular scheduled maintenance.  However, if you’re experiencing any warning symptoms, then a more immediate inspection may be required.

Brake Inspections include:

  • Pads (and/or shoes)
  • Calipers
  • Rotors (and/or drums)
  • Wheel cylinders
  • Hardware (springs and adjusters)
  • Hoses
  • Parking brake cables
  • Fluid condition
  • Wheel bearings and grease seals
  • Master cylinder

Brake Job

A brake job is necessary when your brake linings are worn down to the minimum acceptable thickness specified by the vehicle manufacturer.  There is no specific mileage interval at which the brakes need to be relined because brake wear varies depending on how the vehicle is driven, the braking habits of the driver, the weight of the vehicle, the design of the brake system and a many other variables.  A set of brake linings might last 70,000 miles on a car driven mostly on the highway or only 30,000 miles on the same vehicle that is driven primarily in stop-and-go city traffic or hilly conditions.

The only way to determine if a brake job is required is by inspecting the brakes and determining the thickness of the brake pads.  In order to prevent costly replacement of the rotors, regular inspection of the brake pads is recommended to prevent metal-on-metal contact with the rotors, which occurs when the pad material has worn away.

Replacing worn brake pads is only one part of the process.  A brake job is not just slapping the pads on.  Calipers must be reset and checked to make sure all parts are properly lubricated before they're put back together.  The calipers must be greased so they slide properly, otherwise you can have premature wear of the pads if they do not retract sufficiently to properly release.  Also, excessive heat can be generated which can warp the rotors.