Brake Shops: The Ultimate Guide to Brake Repairs in Las Vegas

auto mechanic doing car brake repairs

Some systems in your vehicle can be scheduled for service at your convenience. Your car’s braking system is not one of them! When you apply the brakes, your car must either decelerate to the proper speed or come to a full and complete stop—at a safe distance from other vehicles. Anything less could be inviting disaster for everyone concerned. If you suspect a problem with your brakes, make an immediate appointment for a full inspection. This will ensure both your safety and that of your passengers. It can also save you considerable time and money by eliminating the need for more expensive repairs in the future. Come to Tire Works Total Car Care in Las Vegas for complete brake service and repair!

The Health of Your Car’s Brakes

Every year there are approximately 300,000 car accidents due to brake failure. Driver neglect is a contributing factor in many of these collisions. Routine brake inspections and brake service can prevent needless injury and death, as well as vehicular damage.

Refer to your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendation concerning brake inspections. A general rule is to have your brakes checked every six months or 6,000 miles—whichever comes first. The purpose of these inspections is to identify minor faults within your braking system before these slight issues develop into major challenges. Ask the ASE certified staff at Tire Works Total Car Care to add this routine brake inspection service to your other preventative maintenance protocols.

It’s important to know that your driving habits can have an effect on your brakes in terms of their efficiency and stopping power. It is recommended that you:

  • Try to avoid speeding.
  • Try to prevent the need for sudden braking or panic stops.
  • Don’t drive with one foot on the brake—this results in excessive wear.
  • Steer clear of stop-and-go traffic whenever there is a viable alternative.
  • Travel on major highways whenever possible.

Following these guidelines can help you save money by minimizing wear and tear on your brakes.

Routine Inspection is the Key

A routine braking system inspection at Tire Works includes thorough checks of the following:

  • Brake shoes
  • Brake pads
  • Brake drums
  • Rotors
  • Brake calipers
  • Brake cylinders
  • Electronic sensors
  • Brake pedal response
  • Brake lines
  • ABS modules

All of your car’s fluid levels will be checked and refilled as needed. The vehicle will also be test driven. You will then be given a summary of the results and an estimated cost of any recommended work.

During the intervals between inspections, you can also measure the width (or thickness) of the brake pads on your own to ascertain whether your car needs an inspection or repair. New pads generally have a width of 12mm. Our mechanics recommend replacing brake pads when they are worn down to about 3mm–4mm. Replacement ahead of schedule will prevent the rotors from being scarred and damaged by excessively worn pads—thus extending their service life.

Our mechanics use the latest advances in auto technology to inspect and repair every component of your car’s braking system. It’s important to select a reputable auto shop with technicians that you trust. We keep detailed records of your car’s inspection and repair history. This simplifies the process of staying up-to-date and on track with your vehicle’s maintenance. In addition, by building a strong relationship with our customers—one based on mutual trust and respect—we seek to create an environment that works to everyone’s advantage.

Replacing Your Brake Pads

Here are some general guidelines to be aware of when our mechanics recommend that you change out your car’s brake pads:

  • Replace both the front and rear brake pads at the same time.
  • Don’t swap out just a single brake pad on either axle. They must be replaced as a pair.
  • Keep in mind that it is normal for the front pads to be replaced more often than the rear. This is due to your car’s overall weight distribution—the front of the vehicle is heavier.

close up of car brakes

Selecting the Right Brake Pad Material

Brake pads can be divided into several categories. These include semi-metallic, ceramic, and organic pads. Since there are both advantages and disadvantages associated with each type, it’s best to consult with a Tire Works brake specialist prior to installation. All brake pads, regardless of composition, undergo the same (or similar) manufacturing and testing procedures before being approved for sale and released to vendors. Your decision on which type of brake pad to install will depend on your driving tendencies, vehicle usage patterns, and overall budget.

Here is some basic information with regard to each type:

Semi-Metallic Brake Pads

Semi-metallic pads are fabricated from metal fibers—typically high-quality steel, copper, iron, and other composite alloys. These fibers are then blended with a graphite lubricant and other fillers to construct the brake pad. They perform well under a wide range of conditions and have good heat dissipation properties. In addition, they are durable, economical, and enjoy the most widespread use of all brake pad types.

Ceramic Brake Pads

These pads are made from ceramics, cotton (or other) fibers, and bonding materials. The process creates brake pads that are extremely stable under high temperatures. Among their many advantages, they are lightweight and durable with superb heat dissipation qualities. They are also quieter and longer lasting than semi-metallic brake pads. However, they are somewhat more expensive.

Organic Brake Pads

Organic brake pads are rapidly gaining in popularity and acceptance. They are being used by approximately 67% of new vehicles sold within the United States. Organic pads are produced with a blend of fibers and natural materials like rubber, carbon compounds, glass (or fiberglass), and KevlarⓇ. This blend is then fused together with resin. They have a high heat tolerance and are environmentally safe. However, they are known to wear out faster than other types of brake pads and thus have a shorter service life.

The Cost of a Brake Job

This is an obvious concern—as well as a frequently asked question—for drivers. However, there is no standardized, universal answer. In point of fact, it depends on the make and model of your vehicle, how often and how far you drive, and the driving conditions you encounter.

Here are some estimates for general guidance:

  • Expect to pay from $35 to $150 (per wheel) for parts involving brake pad work. Labor costs (per axle) can vary from $80 to $120. The total would then range from $115 to $270.
  • If necessary, it’s generally recommended that you have your rotors replaced at the same time as your brake pads. Worn rotors don’t function well, even with new pads.  The rotors themselves may range in cost from $30 to $75 each. Add in $150 to $200 for labor costs—per axle. The total amount can range from $250 to $500 per axle.
  • The calipers are the most expensive component to replace, costing around $130.

A complete brake job—including pads, rotors, and calipers—can cost from $300 to $800 per axle.

Make an appointment today—for any braking system work you may need—at Tire Works Complete Car Care in Las Vegas!

Schedule Brake Service

Brake Repair & Brake Pad Replacement FAQs

How long should brake pads last?

Brake pads and rotors are designed to generate friction, which is essential to slowing or stopping your vehicle. But that very friction gradually wears these components out, meaning even the best brake pads won’t last forever.

Like most other auto maintenance elements, your brake pads’ lifespan will vary based on countless factors. Some of the most prominent things determining this lifespan include:

  • Your driving habits. You might not think the speed at which you brake matters, but abrupt braking is considerably harder on your brake system than smoother stops are. Of course, that’s not to say braking quickly is a bad thing. In some situations, it can save your life. Still, it may require you to get brake pad replacement taken care of sooner rather than later.
  • The locations you drive in. Nevada is the most mountain-heavy state in the USA, and driving in hilly areas requires careful braking—that is to say, the kind of braking that can put a real burden on your braking system. That said, driving in the stop-and-go traffic common to urban environments like Las Vegas can put just as much stress on your brakes.
  • What your brake pads are made of. When determining your brake pads’ lifespan, it’s wise to know whether you use hard or soft compound pads. The former variety lasts long but is most often seen on performance vehicles, while the latter is perfect for urban driving and other relatively low-speed settings. Another factor that can affect the life of your brake pads is whether you use steel or carbon-ceramic brakes.

With all this out of the way, how long can you expect your brake pads to last? Generally, it’s wise for motorists to think about replacing their brake pads after 50,000 miles or so. Of course, that’s just a ballpark estimate. Depending on the factors described above and others, your pads could wear out after 25,000 miles or last up to 70,000 miles.

No matter what happens, the Tire Works Total Car Care team can help!

What happens if you don’t replace your brake pads?

We get it. No one in Las Vegas wants to spend any more time or money on auto maintenance than they need to. Because of that, setting aside your need for new brake pads, for the time being, might seem like a reasonable move. But it’s essential to understand the unintended consequences that can come with avoiding necessary work on your vehicle. Worn brake pads can allow the underlying steel to make direct contact with your brake drums or discs, potentially doing permanent damage to the whole system.

Fortunately, taking your need for brake services seriously shouldn’t mean putting your car out of commission for days on end. Since we employ ASE-certified mechanics, our brake shops can complete most brake fixes in less than three hours. Better yet, brake pad replacement is one of the quickest brake maintenance tasks, and there’s a good chance that we’ll be able to handle it for you in just a few minutes. (On the other end of the spectrum, more in-depth jobs, such as master cylinder replacement or new brake line creation, will take longer—but not by much. Under normal circumstances, we can complete these tasks in eight hours or so.)

Finally, we understand how hard it can be to fit even the quickest brake repair into your busy schedule. That’s why we’re happy to provide the Tire Works Delivery Program—our complimentary concierge program. Through this program, we’ll pick your car up at any spot within three miles of a Tire Works location and drop it off when we’re done, all for no added cost.

How can you tell you need new brakes?

Needless to say, it’s wise to learn the signs that you need for new brakes in Las Vegas. However, you should start by ensuring you know what this service entails. Despite what you might think, most brake replacements don’t involve replacing your master cylinder, calipers, or hoses. Instead, most “brake replacement” jobs could be more accurately referred to as brake pad replacement work.

In any case, several telltale signs can indicate that it’s time for fresh brake pads:

  • Yellow brake fluid leaks under your vehicle
  • Vibrations in the brake pedal
  • Reduced brake pedal resistance
  • A veering towards one side or the other when braking
  • More distance than usually needed for the car to stop
  • Dashboard light activation (in some vehicles)

As a Las Vegas driver, when you spot any of these issues in your car, your next move should be to set up an appointment at Tire Works Total Car Care.

How do I know if I need new brake pads?

If you’re wondering whether your brake pads are wearing down, consulting the above list of potential symptoms is a great place to start. However, these aren’t the only factors that can point to serious trouble in your vehicle. To be a genuinely proactive driver, you’ll also need to listen to what your car tells you. After all, worn-out brakes can be much noisier than you might expect.

One of the two most common noises linked to brake wear is squealing, and unlike some sounds tied to car trouble, this is a deliberate safety feature. These days, many brake pads come with a component called the “brake wear indicator.” Although this part is a simple metal tab, it plays a crucial role in your brake system. If your brake pads wear down enough, that tab will begin rubbing against your brake disc. This is the source of the squealing noise associated with brake failure. So, when you hear squealing brakes, it’s best to have them looked at by professional brake shops ASAP.

The other noise closely linked to brake problems is grinding. However, grinding noises in your brake system don’t have a single, easy-to-identify source. They could instead be caused by anything from worn-out brake pads to brake system debris. Still, some potential factors behind grinding brakes can be even more severe than the worn brake pads that cause squealing noises in the brake system. When you first identify these noises, schedule an appointment for brake services at one of the Tire Works brake shops to avoid serious damage to your brakes!

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