Brake Service

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Braking Basics: Simple Steps to Keep Your Brakes Working Well

At Northtown Automotive here in Amherst, NY, we believe your brakes are the most important safety feature on your vehicle. After all, when you're driving around the highways near Buffalo or Williamsville, NY, a powerful engine is nice, but nothing matters more than being able to stop your vehicle when it's necessary. That's why we encourage all our customers to keep their brakes in good shape. Here are some tips on how to do that.

The First Priority: Keep Your Brake Pads from Wearing Out

The braking components most likely to wear out first are your brake pads. Brake pads are the steel plates with friction material bonded to the surface that press against the brake rotor, and that provides the friction that stops your vehicle. Those pads get a lot of daily wear and tear as you drive around Buffalo or Williamsville, NY, and yet they can last for 40,000 - 50,000 miles.

Of course, the lifespan of your pads depends on your driving conditions. If you're in constant stop-and-go traffic, or if you drive a lot of steep hills or dirt roads, your brake pads can wear out faster. Your driving habits can also make a big difference. If you go fast and ride the brakes as you drive, or if you slam on the brakes a lot, your pads will wear out sooner.

The same thing can happen if you pull a heavy trailer or haul heavy loads on the back roads around Cheektowaga or West Seneca, NY. On the other hand, if you drive carefully and don't put a lot of stress on your brakes, the pads could last as long as 60,000 miles. But if you're a "hard charger" and a fast stopper, or if you drive in punishing conditions, your pads might not make it to 20,000 miles. In other words, you have a lot of influence on how long your brakes last.

We Can Help Keep an Eye on How Your Pads are Doing

A simple way to monitor the wear on your braking system is to ask us for a brake inspection at regular intervals, like every time you get an oil change. That can allow us to spot brake pad wear-out and replace your pads early enough to avoid damage to your other braking components.

What happens if your brake pads wear out? That can cause the rotor to warp or break. What's more, worn-out brake pads mean the heat from braking friction won't disperse correctly, which could cause the whole braking system to overheat and fail. It can cost several hundred dollars to resurface the rotors and quite a bit more if you also need to replace the brake pads at the same time.

Look for the Signs That Your Brakes Are Wearing Out

Your car will tell you when your brakes need to be replaced. For example, if you press on the brake pedal and hear a high-pitched squealing sound, your brake pads are sending you a message that it may be time to schedule a brake job. There are other indicators as well, like a brake pad indicator light or a brake system warning light on your dashboard.

If you notice any of those indicators, or you just want to check the condition of your brakes, bring your vehicle to the service experts at Northtown Automotive. We'll be happy to recommend ways to monitor the condition of your braking system and tell you when you need to do a brake service or get a braking system repair. In addition, our service team will make sure your car, truck or SUV gets the factory-recommended parts that are designed to fit your car.

If you're looking for a different vehicle, check out our great selection of new and used models. Meanwhile, talk to us soon to learn more about the best recommendations to properly service your car. We're proud to have been serving the great people here in upstate New York for more than 50 years, so schedule service with us soon at Northtown Automotive.

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