Auto Repair FAQs

Why does the brake pedal feel softer or harder than normal?
A softer or harder pedal may be caused by a faulty master cylinder or power booster, as well as system leaks or incorrect adjustments.

Why does my brake pedal drop to the floor?
If your brake pedal goes to the floor without any resistance, there may be air in the hydraulic system; fluid leak in master cylinder (past primary cup); hose or line leak in system; or the brakes misadjusted.

How often should I have my brakes checked?
As preventative maintenance, you should have your brakes inspected every five months or 5,000 miles. The life of your brakes will vary with how you use them. Brakes Plus always offers a FREE brake check.

I was told that I had to buy new rotors or drums because they couldn’t be turned again. What does this mean?
At Brakes Plus, we turn (resurface) rotors and drums on a lathe to create smoother braking. This can be done until they have been worn to the manufacturer’s minimum specifications. If they are worn beyond this point, there won’t be sufficient metal to absorb the heat generated by the friction of pads or shoes. At this time the rotors and/or drums will need to be replaced.

What is “bleeding” or “flushing” of the brake system and when should this be done?
Bleeding forces air out of the brake system. This should be done anytime a component in the hydraulic brake system has been replaced. Flushing of the entire hydraulic system is recommended every 2 years or 24,000 miles. This procedure removes moisture (water), sludge, or other contaminants from your system and helps prolong the life of your brake components.

Why does my car pull to one side?
Usually because of low tire pressure; tire wear; worn front end parts; or incorrect alignment.

Why does my steering wheel vibrate?
Vibration can be caused by: tire wear, wheel balance, and alignment. This could also be the first sign of power steering problems, caused by a malfunctioning drive belt. If the belt has knocks or tears or if it slips it will cause the steering wheel to vibrate uncontrollably.

While the car is turned on and in park or neutral, turn the steering wheel back and forth to see if you can find a certain spot where the wheel starts to vibrate. If there is a primary location in the steering wheel turning radius that causes the vibration, it is most likely caused by problems with the power steering drive belt.

When do I know that I may need Shocks or Struts?
Your vehicle is designed to withstand a certain amount of movement, so if you experience bumpiness or shakiness while driving, your shocks and struts are most likely to blame. Additional symptoms that you will need to have your shocks and struts checked are when you notice  bottoming out and tire wear. You may also notice a “nose-diving” sensation along with instability while braking. If you feel a lurch forward while braking, it’s time to have your struts and shocks checked out.

What can I do if my vehicle is overheating?
Some things that you should try to cool off your engine are:

  • Turn off the air conditioning and open the windows
  • Turn on the heater, as this will help to remove the heat from the engine
  • Once you are off the road, turn off the vehicle and let it cool off
  • If your vehicle is overheating, you may need to have your anti-freeze and cooling system checked
  • Call Brakes Plus to schedule an appointment for local auto repair today!

The main culprits in any cooling system include a malfunctioning fan, bad water pump, coolant leaks or flow problems, stuck thermostat, air flow issues, bad radiator cap seal, head gasket leak, contaminated fluid or bubbles in the cooling system. Stop by any of our convenient Brakes Plus locations to get your vehicle inspected today.

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