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Brake Service FAQ

The Basics on Brakes

Why are your brakes squealing?

If your brake light is on, your brakes are squeaky or grinding, if they feel like they are pulsing or grabbing, or they feel “soft” when you hit the brake pedal, don’t wait on a brake check. It not only can be dangerous to ignore such warning signs: small brake problems that are left unrepaired can lead to expensive damage to other parts of your braking system.

The only way to determine if brake noise is harmless or hazardous is to have a thorough brake inspection.

Les Schwab offers the latest diagnostics and repair equipment in the industry for most types of brake systems. Our technicians are trained to get disc or drum brakes working properly on whatever you drive—passenger car, SUV, or light truck, old or new models.


Disc brake

Disc Brake Repair and Services

  • Install professional-grade brake pads
  • Install Professional Grade Raybestos calipers*, or the equivalent
  • Resurface rotors
  • Repack wheel bearings when serviceable
  • Install new front seals when serviceable
  • Replace brake fluid
  • Adjust brake components as needed

* PG PLUS™ PROFESSIONAL GRADE Premium loaded calipers are built to be consistent with Federal Safety Standards for quality, performance and safety. Raybestos provides their loaded calipers with Professional Grade premium disc brake pads to satisfy your braking needs.

What do brake pads, rotors and calipers do?

Brake pads are metal plates bonded with sturdy cushioning friction material. The pads are located on each side of the brake rotors—the flat, rotating discs that are attached to the vehicle’s wheels. When you press the brake pedal, the caliper—essentially a clamp housing the pistons and pads—activates the brake pads, sandwiching the rotor. As the pads come into contact, they slow the spinning rotor through friction, which in turn stops the wheels.

Why install Professional Grade® calipers?

Raybestos Professional Grade® remanufactured calipers include new seals, hardware, and brake pads. This provides better caliper operation for proper brake performance.

Why do we use remanufactured calipers in repairs?

Remanufactured brake calipers use a thoroughly cleaned and inspected original equipment metal caliper housing with new brake caliper hardware and seals. Les Schwab uses Raybestos PG PLUS™ Professional Grade® premium loaded calipers or the equivalent, because they are remanufactured to be consistent with Federal Safety Standards for quality, performance, and safety. This caliper comes with Professional Grade® premium disc brake pads.

Why resurface brake rotors?

Whenever possible, we resurface rather than replace rotors, to save you money when new parts aren’t necessary. Resurfacing provides a proper finish for new brake pads to mate with, helping prevent brake vibration and pulsation. When a rotor is worn beyond specifications, we install Professional Grade® replacements.

Why replace the brake fluid when performing a brake repair?

Brake fluid naturally attracts moisture, which can penetrate even sealed systems. When it does, it causes the brake fluid boiling point to lower, increasing the chances of corrosion and poor braking. We replace the brake fluid to help reduce this risk, and to prolong the life of brake components.

Disc Brake Caliper Assembly

 
Drum brake

Drum Brake Repair and Services

  • Professional-grade brake shoes
  • Resurface drums
  • Replace drum brake hardware
  • Install new wheel cylinders
  • Adjust parking brake
  • Replace brake fluid
How do drum brakes work?

Drum brakes work much like disc brakes, by applying friction to a spinning surface to slow and then stop the vehicle’s momentum. In drum brakes, brake shoes press against the inside of a drum instead of a rotor to create this braking action.

Why replace the drum brake hardware?

Drum brakes work using springs which hold brake components in place and return them to position when the brakes are released. Heat affects the spring tension over time. Drum brake hardware is replaced so the brake shoes are held in the proper position, evening out wear and reducing brake drag (failure of the brakes to release completely when the driver’s foot is removed from the pedal).

Why resurface brake drums?

Whenever possible, we resurface rather than replace drums, to save you money when new parts aren’t necessary. Resurfacing the drums provides a proper finish for new brake shoes and helps prevent brake vibration and pulsation. We also offer Professional Grade® replacement drums if they are needed.

Why replace the brake fluid when performing a brake repair?

Brake fluid naturally attracts moisture, which can penetrate even sealed systems. When it does, it causes the brake fluid boiling point to lower, increasing the chances of corrosion and poor braking. We replace the brake fluid to help reduce this risk, and to prolong the life of brake components.

Drum Brake Assembly

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