While you may be unaware of it, many self-advertised “cheap brake repair shops” sell parts and/or services that simply aren’t needed. Fortunately, there several steps that you can take to protect yourself from these kinds of scams (beyond simply not visiting a shady brake shop).
Every time you take your car in to have your tires rotated and balanced (every 6000 miles, or every other oil change), have your brakes inspected and measured. A good shop will have an ASE-Certified Technician do this for you automatically while your tires are already off; however, be sure to ask for a record of tire and brake pad measurements that you can keep for your own records. This will allow you to track regular wear patterns versus potential problems.
Also, it’s good practice to always install premium parts. There are two things you always want your car to do – go and stop – therefore, it’s never a good idea to buy generic parts for one of the most important systems in your car.
Outside of regularly scheduled visits to your repair shop, remember that other components of your brake system need periodic maintenance as well. ABS (anti-lock brake system) fluid needs to be flushed annually, and non-ABS brake fluid needs to be flushed every two years. This is because brake fluid absorbs water from the atmosphere causing a reduction in its ability to transfer force (and stop the car).
As mentioned, the best way to avoid being ripped off is to find a trustworthy repair shop that will teach you about brakes before you need them and answer any questions you might have. By taking your vehicle to a reputable shop, you can be sure that your car is receiving the proper maintenance it needs from highly-trained technicians and that you aren’t digging into your pockets deeper than needed to care for your vehicle.
Be sure to give our auto repair experts a call at 804-642-2440 if you have any questions/concerns regarding your brakes or any other vehicle component!