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How to Tell if You Need Your Brakes Repaired or Replaced | Chicagoland Jiffy Lube®

When you’re out driving your vehicle, the proper operation of your brakes is very important to ensure that you are able to stay safe on the road. That’s why select Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Jiffy Lube® locations are equipped to handle all types of brake repairs and replacements.

So how can you tell if your brakes need to be serviced, and what kind of brake repairs are we able to handle? Read on to learn more.

How to Tell if Your Brakes Need Servicing

One of the easiest ways to tell if you need a brake service is to make sure to listen to your vehicle while you are driving it. Brake pads are equipped with something called an indicator. It is a small metal shim buried within the brake pad material that, when your pads are worn down, will rub against your rotors or drums, depending on what type of braking system your vehicle is equipped with. This will create a loud high-pitched screeching sound, which lets you know that the pad surface is getting too thin and is in need of replacement.

This sound isn’t always loud enough to be heard over air conditioning noise or the radio, nor does it tell you if there are other system issues present, so there are additional indicators that you can look for as well. If your brakes aren’t as responsive as they used to be, or if the pedal needs to be pushed closer to the floor to work, this could be a sign that you have an air or fluid leak in your brake lines. If your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, this may be a sign of uneven brake pad wear, or that your brake fluid is contaminated.

If your brakes aren’t squealing, and are instead making a loud growling or grinding noise, this means that your pads have completely worn away and the metal behind them is now grinding against your rotors or drums. Another sign of problems is if your brakes vibrate anytime the pedal is depressed. Either of these issues can indicate that your brakes are causing damage, and should be addressed as soon as possible.

What Kind of Brake Repairs Can We Do?

Replacing your brake pads is the most common repair that braking systems need, and this is a relatively fast process. Your technician simply takes off the old pads and replaces them with new ones that meet your manufacturer’s recommendations. Most vehicles are rated to go 30,000 to 50,000 miles between brake pad replacement, but this can vary depending on how you drive.

If you delay changing your pads, you can eventually cause damage to the surface of your rotors or drums. Slight damage can usually be removed by machining the parts back to a smooth surface. Thin or seriously damaged rotors and drums cannot be repaired and must instead be replaced.

All braking systems also rely on brake fluid, which, with help from the system’s pump, called a master cylinder, pressurizes in your brake lines every time you press down on the pedal. This pressure is what causes your brake pads to press against your rotors or drums, creating friction which slows your vehicle down. Over time, these lines can become worn and spring leaks, which will make your brakes less responsive, and also allow contaminates such as dust or water to get mixed into the fluid. Brake fluid can also become contaminated over time without leaks in the brake lines, which is why having a fluid exchange performed periodically is recommended by all vehicle manufacturers. The process involves draining all of the fluid from your lines, cleaning the master cylinder, refilling the system with fluid, and making sure the fluid reaches all four tires.

Maintaining the braking system so that it functions properly is an important part of owning a vehicle. This can be done by getting your brakes checked regularly, which will actually help to prevent more expensive brake repairs in the future. If you are ever unsure of whether or not you need brake repairs, stop by your nearest participating Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Jiffy Lube® location for a free brake inspection. We will let you know if your vehicle needs any brake repairs, and exactly how much the repair will cost before we get started.

Jiffy Lube® recommends following manufacturer recommendations, where applicable, for maintenance schedules and service intervals.

Not all services are offered at each Jiffy Lube® location. Please check with your local Jiffy Lube® service center for specific services offered.

Go to for services and locations in Chicagoland, Rockford, Northwest Indiana and Southeast Wisconsin.

Jiffy Lube® Service Centers are owned and operated by independent franchisees.