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Brake Inspection Questions

A. Your vehicle's brake system has one job -- to stop your vehicle. But it takes dozens of components working together to do that job. And each component has a different replacement cycle.

That's why Midas developed the 55-point brake inspection at the heart of our Secure Stop® brake service. First our experienced Midas Auto Service Experts® conduct a no-stone-unturned investigation of every component of your brake system. We check the usual suspects, like brake pads and fluid leaks. And we track down sneakier culprits, like slowly leaking power brake booster seals that could one day stall your vehicle. If we diagnose a problem with your brakes, we offer an objective view of what's most urgent and what can wait. We take the time to thoroughly explain your vehicle's condition, and provide a written estimate before making any repairs.

A. A brake inspection should always include a thorough examination of your entire brake system from the pedal to the rotors and drums (the brake parts attached to your wheels). Along the way, your brake lines should be checked for leaks and proper hydraulic pressure. Even your external brake lights should be tested.

At Midas, Secure Stop® brake service includes a 55-point brake inspection covering these major components (and their smaller parts, such as seals and connectors):

  • Dashboard alerts such as BRAKE and ABS Lights
  • Brake Pedal
  • Power Brake Booster
  • Brake Fluid Reservoir
  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake Lines/ Hoses
  • ABS Hydraulic Unit (if equipped)
  • ABS Controller & other ABS components (if equipped)
  • On Drum Brakes:
    • Backing Plate
    • Wheel Cylinder
    • Brake Shoes
    • Parking Brake/Adjuster Assembly
    • Brake Hardware
  • On Disc Brakes:
    • Hub Bearing Assembly
    • Brake Rotor (disc)
    • Brake Pads
    • Brake Pad Shims
    • Caliper Assembly
    • Brake Hardware

After the inspection, your local Midas technician will provide a written estimate to fix any brake problems they diagnose, and will help you prioritize what needs immediate attention (and what can wait) before making the repairs.

A. Having your brakes inspected once a year or every 10,000-12,000 miles is common, but check your vehicle owner's manual for the recommended brake inspection interval for your model. And have your brakes checked by a mechanic at the first sign of any of these brake problems:

  • Dashboard lights or warnings - Depending on your vehicle, your BRAKE light, ABS light, Check Engine light may alert you to various brake problems.
  • Leaking brake fluid - Any fluid leak should be inspected.
  • Any change in brake response - Taking longer to stop, needing to press the pedal further toward the floor, or having to apply more pressure as you hold the brakes down a steep hill -- these issues suggest potential brake problems.
  • Any new noise when braking - Squealing, grinding, squeaking, or rattling can point to problems with the brake pads and rotors. Hissing sounds can indicate brake fluid leaks or air in the brake lines. Clunking, knocking, or clicking noises can indicate suspension problems.
  • Any shaking or vibration when braking - Rough stops may mean warped rotors. On the other hand, a pulsing brake pedal during a hard stop is your ABS system in action.
  • Soft or spongy brakes - Spongy brakes often mean low brake fluid, air in the brake lines, or certain brake shoe problems.
  • Hard or stiff brakes - You may have contaminants in the brake fluid or a bad seal on the master cylinder or brake booster.
  • Engine misfiring or stalling - You may have a bad power brake booster.
  • Vehicle pulling to one side when braking -- You could have faulty brake hardware or an uneven hydraulic issue. These problems can cause a pull that will also result in uneven brake pad wear.

A. Brake inspections usually take less than 30 minutes as a standalone service. Repairs and maintenance to your brakes will take additional time. Your Midas technician will provide a written estimate and a detailed explanation of any diagnosed brake problems before making repairs.

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