Visit the Brake Service Specialists in Marion, IL
There are many advantages to having inspections, maintenance, and repairs done by professionals. At our Volkswagen Service Center in Marion, Illinois, the experts in our brake shop know that each make, model, and brake system has different requirements. They understand the stresses produced on different brake components during normal operation. So they can tailor their inspections, routine maintenance, and repairs and replacements to meet the needs of your vehicle.
Brake Repair and Replacement
How can you know whether faulty parts need to be replaced or can be repaired?
- Brake pad and shoes. These components must be replaced as they become worn. Many of them have a built in “alert,” a metal part embedded in the material that will emit a slight squeal once the pad or shoe becomes worn.
- Drums and rotors. Worn brake pads and shoes do damage to drums and rotors if not replaced on time. Damage inflicted can be limited to minor scarring or marring of the surface, which may not require anything other than replacement of the pads or shoes. Or, it could be deep grooves that can be repaired by resurfacing. If the damage is more severe, such as warping, it may be repaired by machining, or may require complete replacement.
- Hydraulics. Inspection of the hydraulics might reveal damaged seals or leaking brake lines. Damaged seals can be replaced, leaks can be repaired or portions of the brake lines can be replaced, and then the hydraulic system can be bled to remove air, restoring full function.
As drivers, we sometimes take our brakes for granted. Usually, when we apply our brakes, our vehicle immediately slows and comes to a stop. But like any system, it’s possible for brakes to fail, so it’s important to maintain them well.
How often should brakes be inspected? What signs would tell you that a trip to our Volkswagen Service Center in Marion, Illinois, is urgent? How would you know if your brakes can be repaired or need to be replaced? First, let’s review how your brakes function.
How Your Brakes Function
When a driver presses the brakes, a combined system of leverage, hydraulics, and electronics works to begin slowing the vehicle. The rate at which it slows and comes to a stop depends on how hard the driver applies pressure. Although modern technology has made the system quite complex, the three systems basically work this way:
- Mechanical leverage. The pressure applied by your foot alone would not be enough to stop a vehicle (no matter what the Flintstones say). So the brake pedal is designed to use leverage to amplify the force you apply with our foot.
- Hydraulics. A hydraulic system further amplifies the pressure of the foot and sends it to the brake pads or shoes. Brake pads are squeezed on both sides of a disc mounted next to the wheel, or brake shoes are pushed outward inside a drum attached to the wheel.
- Electronics. Electronic sensors and systems vary by model, but tasks they perform augment braking response. They might serve as an early warning alert system, or they might prevent the brakes from locking up. Some even assist in braking the vehicle in an emergency situation.
Regular Inspection of Your Brakes
Regular inspections are a good way to catch any wear and tear before the efficiency of your brakes is compromised. You can schedule an appointment online or by phone for a complete inspection by the specialists at the Volkswagen Service Center in Marion. Our professionally trained staff will do a complete multi-point inspection each time you visit.
Warning Signs of Bad Brakes
Your brake pads or shoes are a critical component. As their effectiveness diminishes because of normal wear, you may start to notice signs that it’s time to replace them. Other components, such as cylinders, rotors, drums, and calipers, may also exhibit signs of stress or damage. Regular inspections should keep you on top of any needs for replacement or repair, but sometimes brakes begin to fail in between scheduled maintenance. So how does a driver know if a brake change is needed? Here are a few warning signs:
- Dashboard alerts. Warning lights on your dashboard will warn you when a part of the brake system is failing. This is especially helpful in monitoring hydraulic fluid levels or electrical sensors and components.
- Noise. It may be an intermittent squeak, a continuous squeal, a scraping sound, or the feeling and sound of something grinding. Any of these noises are indicating that, to some extent, damage has been done. If at any time you hear any of these noises, schedule an appointment immediately for inspection and servicing.
- Visible indications. If you see a puddle of hydraulic brake fluid under your parked car, or if you see smoke, feel abnormal heat, or smell a burning odor from any of your wheels, the probable cause is some sort of brake malfunction.
- Touch indicators. When you press your brakes, does the pedal feel abnormally stiff and resistant? Or is it overly soft and spongy? Does it feel like it’s losing pressure? If so, don’t make the mistake of ignoring it. Also, when you apply the brakes while driving, does your car pull toward one side, wobble, or bounce? These are other indications of damage to brake components that require immediate attention.
Any of these indicators may be telling you that you may have left things too long, and that repair rather than maintenance is now urgent. As borne out by a famous quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” scheduled brake maintenance is better than brake malfunction repair.
Our Service Center in Marion Can Help
Your brakes are one of the most critical components for safety on your vehicle, and good maintenance is more cost-effective than emergency repairs and replacement. At the Volkswagen Service Center in Marion, Illinois, we show our commitment to your safety by keeping comprehensive service records and only using Genuine Volkswagen Parts. Our fast, convenient, and professional service is back by warranty. Schedule an appointmentfor brake inspection, replacement, or repair today!