Your Car’s Brakes. A Job For The Experts.
Your foot meets the accelerator pedal and your car takes off – but what happens when you hit the brakes? If you’re not confident in your vehicle’s ability to brake firm and straight, then it’s time for a brake service. With time, all car brakes need attention, and there’s no attention more expert than a CARMAX AUTOCARE technician’s attention. At a CARMAX AUTOCARE we’ll diagnose your vehicle’s brake problems and offer brake repair solutions that fit your budget.
CARMAX Brake Experts
From the Brake Pedal to Hydraulic Brake Fluid, Brake Master Cylinder to Power Brake Booster, Drum Brakes to Disc Brakes and Electronic Anti-Lock Brake Sensors, CARMAX AUTOCARE technicians know every part of your brake system inside and out and can perform brake repair on any make and model.
Brake Warning Signs
You know you need brake repair when:
Any time you notice these or other symptoms, it’s a good idea to have your brakes checked. At CARMAX AUTOCARE, if our inspection reveals you do need brake repair service, we will explain exactly what’s required, what’s optional and provide you with a written estimate before any work is done.
CARMAX Brake Service
CARMAX AUTOCARE understands how important brakes are and has developed a 55-point inspection process to diagnose the health of your brake system. Our ASE-certified technicians will let you know which components need immediate attention and which ones can wait. And they’ll discuss brake repair options that fit within your budget.Our quality pads and shoes come with the famous CARMAX AUTOCARE Guarantee.* Brake pads and shoes purchased with this guarantee are warranted for as long as you own your car.
CARMAX AUTOCARE Guarantee*
When you purchase brake pads and brake shoes at CARMAX AUTOCARE, you also get the famous 1 Year CARMAX AUTOCARE Guarantee* – once you purchase brake pads or brake shoes from us, you are guaranteed for 1-Year for any issue related to the replacement of these parts.
Brake systems – Explained.
Your vehicle’s brake system has one job – to stop your vehicle. But it takes several key components to deliver that singular end result. To bring a vehicle to a halt, three things are necessary: leverage, hydraulic force and friction. Leverage is supplied by the driver’s leg pressure and the brake pedal. The pedal is connected by levers and rods to the back of the power booster. The power booster uses either engine vacuum or a hydraulic pump to multiply and transfer the force of that leverage to the master cylinder. The master cylinder is the heart of your vehicle’s brake hydraulic system. It uses applied leverage to force a reservoir full of brake fluid through valves, steel lines and rubber hoses into hydraulic calipers and wheel cylinders. That hydraulic pressure is then used to help create friction.
For example, disc brakes use a hydraulic caliper fitted with brake pads to grab a spinning disc (or rotor). Drum brakes, on the other hand, have a hydraulic wheel cylinder that pushes a brake shoe against the inside of a spinning drum. Either design involves highly engineered parts and precise movement. The more force a driver applies to the brake pedal, the greater the stopping force that is applied at the wheels.
In addition to this primary braking system, most of today’s vehicles utilize an electronic Anti-lock Brake System. Using electronic sensors and high pressure pumps, under certain conditions, your ABS system can measure vehicle speed, wheel slip and brake force. Then it actually pumps the brakes for you during an emergency stop.
That’s why it’s essential to be proactive about testing overall brake components. And to know whether a brake component needs simply to be serviced or totally replaced.
ASK A CARMAX TECHNICIAN
Brakes & Brake Repair FAQs
Q: I only have 10,000 miles on my car and my brakes are squeaking. Do I need new brakes already?
A: Probably not, but whether it’s a squeal or a grind, brake noise means the brake system needs some attention. Bring your vehicle to our workshop and we’ll be happy to take a look.
Q: How long do brake pads and rotors last?
A: All brake pads and rotors wear down. The rate at which this happens depends on your driving style. Cars that drive in town with lots of stop-and-gos will consume brake friction material much faster than cars that drive primarily on express ways.
Vehicle loads are the other factor. The heavier your car is, the more braking power it requires to stop.
More about Brakes
How do brakes work?
Just as your ankle bone is connected to your foot bone, your brake system relies on each connected brake part to function successfully — and safely.
Here’s a quick lesson: By pressing down on the brake pedal, you activate the cylinder that delivers brake fluid to the calipers that then engage your brake pads. Your brake pads then apply pressure to the rotors, creating the friction needed to stop your car. You see, it’s all connected.
All your brake parts work together to perform one important and crucial function: safe and precise stopping power.
What is a Brake Inspection?
Thorough, comprehensive, extensive, and methodical are just a few characteristics that describe our brake inspections. When we say brake inspection, we not only mean it, but we demonstrate it on every automobile we service. Because in order to detect a problem, we need technicians that not only can spot potential problems, but also have the know-how and precision to regain brake awesomeness. When we’re finished, you’ll have total confidence knowing your ride has received a brake inspection that’s hard to match.
Brake Inspection includes checking your brake:
- pads (and/or shoes)
- rotors (and/or drums)
- wheel cylinders
- hardware (springs and adjusters)
- parking brake cables
- fluid condition
- wheel bearings and grease seals
- master cylinder fluid exchange
How often should I have my brakes inspected?
When you visit your doctor for a physical on a yearly basis, you’re being smart about your health. Same goes for your brakes. A yearly checkup will not only give you the confidence and guidance of our expert technicians, it will also provide you with the best opportunity to spot the necessary smaller repairs to avoid the bigger and more expensive ones. If you’re experiencing any warning symptoms, then a more immediate inspection may be required.
Consult your owner’s manual for specific brake inspection intervals for your particular make and model.
What are brake pads?
Brake pads are the parts that contact your rotors and cause friction in order to stop your car.
What’s a rotor?
The rotor is directly connected to each tire. To stop your car, the rotor must stop spinning. It stops spinning by friction created by the brake pad.
What’s a calliper?
The calliper applies pressure and activates brake pads so the pads create contact with the rotors. The calliper requires brake fluid in order to function properly.
What’s a brake hose?
When you press down on your brake pedal, brake fluid travels through the brake hose to each caliper, which puts the brake pads into action.
What exactly is brake fluid?
Brake fluid is a crucial element needed to make your brakes operate successfully. When pressure is generated in the brake fluid lines, energy is distributed to your brake parts so they can perform their main job — stopping your car. If you have a brake fluid leak, your car could take longer to stop or, worse, won’t stop at all. If your vehicle has no brake fluid, you’re brakes won’t even operate. And that’s a scary situation we’d never wish on anybody.