Mac's Auto Repair

The Dos and Don’ts of Brake Repair

You always want to take care of the most critical safety system on your vehicle – the brake system. If you ignore it, you’re taking your life into your hands. The brake system is made of several components, including the pads, rotors, calipers, lines, hoses, master cylinder and ABS. Most older vehicles and some newer rear-wheel drive vehicles use shoes, drums and wheel cylinders instead of pads, rotors and calipers on the rear wheels.

Mac’s Complete Auto Repair in Chandler AZ has certified technicians that have extensive experience in brake repair and brake service.

The Dos of Brake Repair 

While your certified auto technician at Mac’s Complete Auto Repair checks almost everything with your brake system when you bring your vehicle in for preventative maintenance and vehicle repair, there are some things you can check yourself.

Check the Brake Fluid

Every week, you should lift the hood and check your vehicle’s fluids, including the brake fluid. You can see the brake fluid through the side of the master cylinder. If it’s too difficult to tell, wipe the side and cover of the master cylinder off with a damp rag. You do not need to – and should not – remove the cover to the master cylinder. Make sure the vehicle is on level ground when you check the brake fluid.

Clean Up Spilled Brake Fluid

If you are comfortable with topping off the fluids in your vehicle yourself, you can add more brake fluid. If you spill any of the brake fluid on the vehicle’s paint, including in the engine bay, wash it off immediately. The brake fluid will eat through the paint and cause it to bubble and peel off. It’s best to use a hose or a bucket to rinse it off. It is oil-based, so if you wipe it, it smears all over the place, and you’ll still have bubbling and peeling paint.

Have a Certified Tech at Mac’s Complete Auto Repair Flush the System

Every 24 to 36 months, you should have a certified auto technician at Mac’s Complete Auto Repair flush the brake system and replace the brake fluid. Brake fluid naturally absorbs moisture from the air, even through the rubber seals throughout the brake system. If the seals are cracked or worn on the master cylinder, we recommend flushing the brake fluid and replacing the seals at the same time. If the seals in other parts of the brake system are leaking brake fluid, we recommend replacing the worn seal and flushing the brake fluid at the same time.

Check the Brakes Frequently

Many shops recommend checking the brake system yearly. However, we recommend checking it every time you bring your vehicle in for preventative maintenance or other repairs. Not only do the brake pads and shoes wear out, but rotors and shoes wear down, rubber hoses disintegrate over time, metal brake lines rust, and you could also lose brake fluid because of leaks.

The Don’ts of Brake Repair 

Just as there are things you should do, there are some things you shouldn’t do when inspecting your brakes.

Don’t Allow the Brake Fluid to Absorb Moisture

If you notice the rubber on the inside of the master cylinder or the seal under the cap is cracked or worn, you should replace the cap or the entire master cylinder as soon as possible. If pieces get into the brake system, it could impede the brake fluid’s flow and cause the brakes to be less effective or not work at all.

Additionally, the brake system is a sealed system. If moisture gets inside the brake system, it lowers the boiling point of the brake fluid and causes the brakes to be less effective. If enough water gets into the brake fluid, the brakes could overheat with normal stopping.

Do Not Use Hydrocarbon-Based Solvents, Such as Kerosene

When cleaning up brake parts, it’s better to use brake fluid cleaner. If you use kerosene or other hydrocarbon-based solvents, it impacts the performance of the brakes when it gets on the pads or shoes.

Contact Mac’s Complete Auto Repair 

When you need someone to check your brakes, or you need brake replacement or brake service, contact Mac’s Complete Auto Repair for an appointment by calling (480) 709-6259. We are conveniently located at 6948 W. Chandler Blvd., Chandler AZ 85226.

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