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Category Archives: Brakes

Put On The Brakes: Brake Service At St. Louis BDG

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most St. Louis auto owners know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn’t mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection in St. Louis at St. Louis BDG includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your honest St. Louis BDG tech can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at St. Louis BDG as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at St. Louis BDG in St. Louis, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.

It is essential to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your sedan tires are worn, you won’t get good stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.

This is particularly vital on wet Granite City roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet Missouri roads or dry. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the sedan passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your sedan and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive in St. Louis, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident and worry-free.

Posted in   Brakes

Hitting The Brakes In St. Louis

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Safety should always be a vital element of your car care. So even if you don’t care about how your car looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other St. Louis auto owners — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are essential parts that wear out or wear down, and it’s best to replace them before you have problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that’s a good sign that you need your brakes checked. St. Louis drivers can also tell something is wrong with their brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate issues. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is essential to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disk brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor, which close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the sedan’s wheels, from turning.

When St. Louis BDG services your brake system, your honest service specialist checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at St. Louis BDG compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be costly. But if your sedan brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive in St. Louis, but they also work better. Missouri drivers who want better and smoother braking, should consider upgrading. However, St. Louis drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than your car maker’s recommendation.

After you your brake pads are checked at St. Louis BDG, it’s critical to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will impair your braking power. The pads just won’t be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your sedan. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to a dangerous and costly accident in St. Louis.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause detrimental corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So St. Louis drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your sedan owner’s manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced or ask a honest tech at St. Louis BDG. We have been servicing brake systems in St. Louis for 20 years. 

Remember, St. Louis folks, safety first. It’s essential auto advice for all St. Louis car owners on the road. You’re not just protecting others; you’re protecting yourself.

Posted in   Brakes

Hitting The Brakes In Chesterfield

Hello St. Louis, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all Missouri car owners know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between St. Louis, St. Louis and Chesterfield.

Hitting The Brakes In ChesterfieldBut the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let’s step back. A new sedan or truck rolls off a local St. Louis showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the sedan. St. Louis motorists tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of auto manufacturers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around Missouri, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at St. Louis BDG is important for your sedan and your family’s safety. At St. Louis BDG we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at St. Louis BDG. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the sedan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at St. Louis BDG cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the sedan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.

This is especially important on wet St. Louis area interstates and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. Missouri drivers need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

Posted in   Brakes

Brake Service

Brakes really aren’t optional equipment. And taking care of them isn’t optional either.

A regular brake inspection is on every car’s maintenance schedule. An inspection will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems. Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into a St. Louis or Granite City service center right away. And watch out for these problems:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle. Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Pads, called shoes, push against the inside of the drum to slow the vehicle.

There are several things that need to be serviced on the brake system. First, the brake pads and shoes wear out with use, and become too thin to really help. If the brake pads wear away completely you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced and that can be expensive. But putting it off is dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake fluid is also important. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid, not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. You should change the brake fluid when your manufacturer recommends it.

There are different grades of brake pads. There are regular, metallic and ceramic – higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the manufacturer recommends.

Be sure to properly maintain your brakes because it’s a lot cheaper than paying your nearest St. Louis area body shop after an accident.

Posted in   Brakes

Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You’ve gotta have good brakes. If you’ve got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That’s why a regular brake inspection is on every St. Louis car’s maintenance schedule. An inspection at St. Louis BDG will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you’re having trouble with your brakes, get your car into St. Louis BDG right away. Here are some symptoms to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it’s time to get your brakes checked.

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that’s attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are more common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your car. Eventually, they wear out with use, and become too thin and need to be replaced.

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That’s not only expensive, but also dangerous because your vehicle won’t stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

Brake service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid actives the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. You should change the brake fluid when your manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

There are different grades of brake pads; good, better and best. Higher grades cost more, but give better braking performance and smoother operation. It’s OK to upgrade your brake pads. But, never use a grade that’s lower than what the manufacturer recommends.

So, be sure to properly maintain your brakes, because it’s a lot cheaper than paying the body shop after an accident.

Come in to St. Louis BDG for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 636-946-5900.

Posted in   Brakes