What’s the most important part of your car? - Beck's Auto Center | Lafayette

What’s the most important part of your car?

If your car doesn’t start, it’s inconvenient.  If it doesn’t stop, it can be downright dangerous. I think most of us would agree that our vehicle’s brakes are the most important component when it comes to keeping our families safe when driving around town.

So why is it that most of us know so little about how our brakes work and how to maintain them?

Calipers, Pads, Rotors and More

The typical brake system consists of disk brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in the rear connected by tubes and hoses that link each brake to the master cylinder.

When you depress your vehicle’s brake, the fluid in these tubes causes calipers (mechanical pinchers) to squeeze a disk (rotor) that is attached to your wheels. This stops the car’s motion by way of friction and heat.  Your brake pads are located between the caliper and rotor and are designed to take the majority of the wear.

Keeping Everyone Safe

Brake fluid reservoir picture

Automotive brakes are a normal wear and tear item for any vehicle and eventually will need to be replaced. To ensure they are always in top working order, routine inspections and maintenance are a must.

Regularly inspecting your brake pads and brake fluid level when you have your oil changed will let you see when the pads are getting worn, or if you need to add or change fluid.

Heed the Warning Signs

The most common indication on many vehicles that brake service is needed is when you start hearing a metal chirping sound.  This is a warning sign that your brake pads need replacing.  You may also hear higher pitched noises indicating that you have metal-to-metal contact.  When you hear these sounds, get your vehicle in immediately to avoid damage to the rotors and more costly repairs.

Most manufacturers recommend brake pad replacement if there is 1/8 inch or less of the pad lining remaining.  You should replace the fluid if it appears to be dirty or contaminated. Most manufacturers suggest that you replace brake fluid every 20,000-25,000 miles.  Rotors should last much longer, but hard braking over the life of the vehicle can lead to premature replacement.

An Ounce of Prevention

We count on our car or truck stopping every time we hit the brakes.  By understanding how our brake systems work and maintaining them properly, we’ll be confident that our families are safe each and every time they head down the road.

Current Road Construction Update

Not bad if coming from south side to State Street.  No problems coming from downtown to Becks.  Terrible going west on SR 26 towards Sagamore Parkway.  If you are coming in on SR 26 we recommend taking Creasy Lane to McCarty Road to Sagamore Pkwy., or Farbee Drive to Sagamore Pkwy. If coming from north side , take any street to State Street  then to Sagamore Pkwy and right to Becks.

Remember that Becks and McGuire’s parking lot joins Subway and Vitamin Shop so you can cut through that way. Thanks and if you have any questions please call.

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