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Q: What should I know about how the brakes work?

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What should I know about how the brakes work?

A: It’s hard to think of any system on your ca...

It’s hard to think of any system on your car more important than your brakes. They’re responsible for slowing and stopping it safely. When you press the pedal, fluid is sent from the master cylinder to the calipers, which squeeze the brake pads against the rotor. This creates friction and slows the car down. However, there are several things you need to know about your brakes:

  • Some brake noise is normal.

  • If you hear a grinding sound, or a metal on metal sound, your brakes need to be inspected.

  • If you hear a squealing sound, your brakes need to be inspected (this is the squealer contacting the rotor to tell you it’s time to replace the pads).

  • If you feel a vibration when braking, you should have the pads and rotors inspected (possibly need to have the pads replaced and the rotors resurfaced).

  • Brake dust will normally accumulate on your wheels from typical use. You can clean it off using water and a mild soap.


  • Have your brakes inspected at each oil change and other service intervals.
  • Keep an eye on your brake fluid level.
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