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Brake Repair Costs

Your brakes are the most crucial safety system on your car. But they can also be the most expensive component to replace when worn down. The cost of brake repair can vary widely, depending on your vehicle, its age, how and where you drive it, and the quality of the parts and service. The key is to know what to expect so you can shop around and make an informed decision about how much to spend on brake repairs.

Most modern cars come equipped with two warning lights that signal when the brakes are faulty or need service. One is the anti-lock braking system ABS light and the other is the brake warning light. If either of these lights illuminate, you should schedule a brake repair appointment as soon as possible to prevent permanent damage.

In addition to replacing the brake pads, you will likely need to have the rotors resurfaced or replaced and the fluid changed. The brake fluid is what keeps the hydraulic pressure in the system, which in turn allows the calipers to apply the proper amount of pressure to the brake discs. Without enough brake fluid, the hydraulic pressure is weakened and the calipers will not be able to do their job of slowing the car down.

While the brakes are out, you should ask if you can upgrade your pads to higher performance or specialized parts that will increase the life of the brakes and improve the braking capabilities of your car. There are a variety of upgrade options from slotted discs that reduce heat to ceramic pads that generate less dust and have superior stopping power.

When shopping around for a shop to perform your brake repair, it is important to look for a place that uses brand-name parts. Top-quality manufacturers will proudly put their name on the product. Generic companies, on the other hand, will usually package their mediocre brake pads in a plain white or yellow box. Be sure to read customer testimonials before committing to a specific store.

Once you find a reputable shop, ask for a quote over the phone. Any shop that carries premium brake pads should be able to give you an accurate price for the replacement of your brake pads, machining of the rotors and installing new hardware. If the shop balks, move on to another company.

Many of the standard brake services are similar from shop to shop. However, the quality of the parts and calipers can make a big difference in the final price you pay. Avoid shops that use cheap brake pads and rotors and are known to engage in high-pressure sales tactics. Instead, shop for a reputable shop that uses only the best brake pads and rotors on all their jobs and offers a warranty that covers both the brake pads and the rotors for as long as you own the car. This will help you save money by avoiding costly repeat visits for performance issues.