Brake Pad Replacement in Berkeley
Oceanworks, your premier Berkeley auto repair shop, offers full range of brake service and repairs. Probably the most frequent brake service we perform is brake pad replacement. Whether you drive a Ford Mustang, or a Dodge Caravan, sooner than later, you will need to replace brake pads on your vehicle.
Majority of modern vehicles are equipped with disc brakes and brake pads. Brake pads are made of material that generates high friction, and is strong enough to withstand repeated high temperatures and not become brittle. When you step on the brakes, brake pads get pressed against surface of rotors, causing friction and slowing rotors down. Rotors, in turn, are attached to wheels, so the friction between pads and rotors causes wheels to slow down their rotation – and so the vehicle slows down.
As you can imagine, the mass of a vehicle travelling at freeway speed requires large force to slow it down. Over time, repeated braking causes brake pads to wear out. If they are not replaced, eventually all friction material will be gone, and your vehicle may be unsafe to drive, not to mention, it will cause rotors damage.
What are the signs that brake pads need to be replaced:
- Grinding noise while braking suggests that your vehicle’s brakes are “metal to metal” – entire friction material has worn off. Rotors are likely to get damaged at this point, and the car may be unsafe to drive. Bring it to a repair shop asap.
- Latest vehicles have electronic sensors built into pads – sensors will tell onboard computer to illuminate dashboard light which will alert you that brake pads need to be replaced.
- If the brakes squeal when braking, it’s time to take the vehicle to your friendly mechanic.
- If you feel brake pedal pulsation, or the vehicle is vibrating, this typically indicates that rotors are warped.
- If your car’s computer illuminates brake system maintenance light on the dashboard, it’s time to head for your trusted auto repair shop.
- ABS light on the dashboard warns you that the ABS system is not performing correctly – the good news is that brakes are still functioning correctly, but the bad news is that anti-lock brake system is offline, so sudden braking on a slippery surface may result in locked wheels and out of control vehicle.
What do we do when we replace brake pads?
Oceanworks technicians follow a well defined procedure for brake pads replacement. First we take the wheels off, then we inspect brake pads visually, we also check calipers to make sure they don’t get stuck when brake pedal is pressed and released. We measure brake pad thickness – pad thickness is the ultimate arbiter if the pads are worn out – typically 3 mm is the magic number – if pads are 3 mm or thinner, they need to be replaced.
Brake pads are replaced in pairs – either front pads or rear pads. Sometimes it may happen that both front brake pads and rear brake pads wear out at the same time, and both front and rear pads need to be replaced, but it does not happen often.
While we are replacing brake pads, we will also take time to lubricate brake system components, test condition of the brake fluid ( brake fluid absorbs moisture from air that surrounds it and over time may need to be replaced). We will top off brake fluid if needed, and of course we look for any brake fluid leaks. Once the brake pads are on, we put the wheels back on, and take your vehicle for a road test – we verify that brake system works as intended under real world conditions.
Brakes are vital to your and passenger safety. If you have any concerns about your vehicle’s brakes, bring your car to Oceanworks. We will perform professionally brake system inspection and let you know what needs to be done.
When your vehicle visits our Berkeley auto repair shop, you can expect:
- Written estimates
- Nationally ASE certified mechanics
- In most cases, same day service
- 24 months / 24,000 miles warranty
- Accurate description of what needs to be done and why
So when it is time for brake pad replacement, set up an appointment online, or call us at the shop.