Brake service: Why it’s crucial to the safety of you and your passengers

Dear Mike,

I’m a new car owner and I’m not sure if I need to get brake service done regularly. What does brake service include and why is it important? Should I do it myself or go to a mechanic?


Dear Rufus,

Congratulations on being a new car owner! It’s great that you’re thinking ahead and trying to figure out how to maintain your car. Brake service is an essential part of vehicle maintenance, and it’s crucial to the safety of you and your passengers.

As for the question of whether you should do it yourself or go to a mechanic, let me put it this way: if you’re not a certified mechanic, you shouldn’t be messing with your brakes. Brakes are a critical safety component of a car, and they require specialized tools, equipment, and expertise. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you could endanger yourself and others on the road.

Now, let’s talk about what brake service includes. At a minimum, a brake service should include a visual inspection of the brake pads, rotors, calipers, and brake lines. The mechanic will check for wear, damage, and leaks. If they spot any problems, they will recommend the necessary repairs.

If you need new brake pads, the mechanic will remove the old ones and replace them with new ones. They will also resurface the rotors, which will help ensure smooth and even stopping. If the rotors are damaged beyond repair, they will need to be replaced.

The mechanic may also bleed the brake lines and flush the brake fluid. Over time, brake fluid can become contaminated with moisture, which can cause corrosion and damage to the brake lines and calipers. Flushing the brake fluid helps remove the moisture and keeps your brakes working correctly.

Another thing to consider when getting brake service is the quality of the parts you’re getting. Some shops may offer cheap aftermarket parts that may not be as reliable as OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. When it comes to brakes, it’s always best to go with high-quality parts to ensure optimal performance and safety.

As for how often you should get brake service, there are no hard and fast rules. It all depends on your driving habits and environment. If you drive in stop-and-go traffic or live in a hilly area, you may need to get your brakes serviced more frequently. A good rule of thumb is to get a brake inspection every 12,000 miles or once a year, whichever comes first.

In conclusion, getting brake service is an essential part of maintaining your car and ensuring your safety on the road. It’s always best to see a certified mechanic to get your brakes serviced rather than trying to do it yourself. When getting brake service, ask the mechanic what’s included, how much it costs, and what kind of parts they use. And remember, when it comes to brakes, safety should always be your top priority.

Happy driving!

Mike Urban,
Founder of Urban Automotive