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Services & Advice > Brake Repair > Brake Pads Replacement

Brake Pad Replacement in San Francisco

Brake Pads

Welcome to Pat’s Garage – the premier San Francisco auto repair shop. We offer full range of auto repair services including brake service and repair. Among brake services, the most common is brake pad replacement.

Brake pads are made of friction material that gets pressed against the surface of rotors when braking. Rotors are attached to wheels. The friction of the brake pads causes wheels to slow down, and the car eventually stops.

As you can imagine, such tremendous forces and friction cause the brake pads to wear down. Eventually they need to be replaced or your vehicle’s brakes will be “metal to metal” – all friction material will be gone – this can result in rotor damage as well.

How do you know it’s time for brake pads to be replaced?

There are several indicators that will alert you to the need for brake pad replacement:

  • a) Latest vehicle models have electronic sensors built into pads – a light will come on the dashboard when the brake pads need to be replaced.
  • b) Squealing brakes are a sign that your mechanic should look at the brakes
  • c) If you hear grinding noise when braking, your vehicle brakes are likely “metal to meta” – the friction material has completely worn off and now the rotors are being damaged as well. Get your car to a shop immediately. Your safety is at stake.
  • d) If the car pulls to the left or right while braking, it is likely that brake calipers will need to be replaced (just like brake pads, they are typically replaced in pairs, even if only one is malfunctioning). This occurs much less frequently than brake pad replacement.
  • e) Brake pedal pulsation or vehicle vibration – this could indicated that rotors are warped, and will need to be replaced. This occurs much less frequently than brake pads wearing out.
  • f) If there is any kind of brake system warning light illuminated on the dashboard, or any brake system maintenance message, you should get your car serviced as soon as possible. Safety is at stake.

What is involved in brake pad replacement?

At Pat’s Garage we take off the wheels, inspect brake pads visually, check that calipers are operating properly (looking for stuck calipers), then measure brake pad thickness. Based on the results of the inspection, we would let you know if the brake pads need replacement. Typically, if the friction material thickness is less than 2 mm, brake pad replacement is indicated.

Brake pads are replaced in pairs, either front or rear. It is rare that a vehicle needs both front and rear brake pads replaced at the same time.

When we replace brake pads, we also lubricate brake system components, check condition of the brake fluid, and top it off if needed. Finally, our mechanic will take your vehicle for a test drive to verify that brake systems works as expected.

Brakes are one of the critical safety systems of your vehicle. If you have any concerns about your vehicle’s brakes, bring your vehicle to Pat’s Garage and our nationally ASE certified technicians will perform a thorough inspection and inform you of the results Call today to set up an appointment.

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