One of the most common worries about car repairs is what they will end up costing, which has people looking for cheap oil changes, cheap tires, cheap brake service, and more. But being unwilling to spend reasonable amounts of money on regular maintenance and repair for essential car parts like brakes can lead to your car being completely broken down or unsafe to drive, so sometimes it’s worth shelling out a little to pay qualify auto repair shops (you might be able to find brake service specials, or you can develop a relationship with a shop and hope for better pricing).
But if you’re hoping to keep costs down, here are some easy components to keep an eye on relating to the health of your brakes:
A recent car regular maintenance survey shows that 18% of the cars in the survey have low brake fluid. This is a major problem, since brakes are a hydraulic system -- meaning that the fluid is use to transfer power between your foot on the brake pedal and the actual brakes that stop your wheels.
A leak in your brake lines can lead to brake failure, so take your car in for service as soon as possible to avoid a dangerous situation and hefty repair costs. Brake fluid should generally be change every 20,000 miles.
Check your owner’s manual for more specific information on brake pad service, but most kinds of cars should have their brake pads checks for wear about every 12,000 miles. Brake pads need to be replaces if they are less than 1/8 of an inch thick or every 25,000 miles, whichever comes sooner. If you hear brake squealing, that’s almost certainly a sign that your brake pads need attention, but you should try to not let it go that long.
One of the reasons brake pad replacement is important for regular maintenance is because it protects your rotors, which require much more costly repairs if damage. But rotors do eventually wear out, needing either resurfacing or replacement. Even if only one side is worn, you should talk to your auto shop about replacing both sides, since your brakes could pull in one direction if the wear is uneven.
What do you consider “cheap brake service”? Out of the 701,100 auto mechanics and 87,032 auto repair shops in the U.S., how do you find one that you trust? Share in the comments.