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Harrisburg PA Automotive Inspections

Brakes, Rotors & Calipers. Professional Installation & Servicing.
Lehman's Automotive Services, Inc
Family owned and operated singe 1957

Without visually inspecting your disc brake pads, how would would you know that your brakes need servicing?

  1. When you apply the brakes, you hear a high pitch noise or squealing.

  2. When you (open your vehicles front hood and) inspect your brake fluids reservoir, you notice that the liquid level is low.  

Brake Squealing Low Level Brake Fluid
Brake Shuddering, Chattering & Vibrations
Brake Service - Why I Shouldn't Wait 

BRAKE SQUEALING:  On each side of the front brake pads of a disc brake system, there is a metal tab that extends toward the brake rotor.  As the brake pad wears down to the point of replacement, the tab comes in contact with the rotor.  This metal to metal contact causes a high pitch or squealing sound that is the drivers signal to service your brakes. 

LOW BRAKE FLUID RESERVOIR LEVEL:  Again, as the brake pads of a disc brake system wear, the piston in each caliper must extend to push the worn pad closer to the rotor to compensate.  The caliper receives fluid from the brake fluid reservoir/master cylinder system.  As the caliper extends toward the rotor, more brake fluid is required.  Generally, it is not necessary to refill your brake fluid reservoir as once the caliper pistons are reset for use with new brake pads, the reservoir refills with the apparent lost fluid from the caliper.  

BRAKE SHUDDERING, CHATTERING OR VIBRATIONS:  This is not normal brake operation and these effects are usually exacerbated when braking by going down a hill or mountain.  This is a sure sign that the rotors must and should be replaced immediately.  The reason is that the rotors are no longer sport truly flat or uniform surfaces.  What's happening is the disc brake pad is only intermittantly in contact with the brake rotor.  You might wondering, is this dangerous.  The answer is, most definitely yes!  When you need your brakes to stop to avoid an accident, it's not going to do you any good to stop at 70 or more feet when your vehicle could have stopped at 50' with new rotors installed, to avoid the accident.  Years ago, on older vehicle designs, rotors where expensive and somewhat costly to replace or resurface (turn).  That was because asbestos pads where used and rotors rarely needed to be replaced, so they were designed accordingly (difficult to install and in relatively low production stock).  Today's new car designs, using metallic brake pads, cause much higher rotor wear rates and as such, require designs that quick and more frequent replacement.  The rotors for today's models are mass produced and are readily available from stock and are relatively cheap.  As such, there is absolutely no reason whatsoever that you should not replace faulty rotors.  Remember our number one priority is the safety of our customers and their families.    

WHY YOU SHOULDN'T WAIT TO SERVICE YOUR BRAKES:  If delay servicing your brakes, eventually your disc brake pads will wear to the point where you have metal to metal contact between the base of your disc brake pad (steel) and the rotor (alloy steel).  The result of metal to metal rotation contact is referred to as galling.  The result is a much more expensive brake repair.  This will most definitely require a new rotor(s).  It is also quite possible to damage the calipers.  In short, don't delay brake repairs.   

If you'd like to more information about it, we'd be happy to provide you with a cost estimate and will help to answer your questions.  Just give us a call.      

  02/10/2011

Lehman's Automotive Services, Inc. 
2837 Walnut St.| Harrisburg, PA 17103
Toll Free Phone: (717) 232-0900| Fax: (717) 232-xxxx 
Web Site: www.harrisburgpainspections.com

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