A common complaint about brakes is that they are squeaking or squealing. Most of the time the client believes they will need new brakes but that is not always the case.

Here in Yuma we have quite a bit of dust. That can sometimes lead to a glazing of the brake rotors and can cause a squeal or squeaking noise while lightly braking. It simply takes a brake inspection to determine the amount of friction material left on the brake pads to determine whether your vehicle needs new brake pads or not.

If there is still sufficient friction material on the brake pads, a simple scuffing of the pads and rotors can resolve these issues. If that does not work, the only two choices are to put up with the noise or replace the pads with a high quality brake pad. It should be noted that the squeaking or squealing does not create a safety issue. The brakes will operate normally despite the noise.

Another common complaint is a shaking in the steering wheel when the brakes are applied, particularly when slowing down from highway speeds. This is caused by heat warping the brake rotors causing excessive “runout”. Excessive heat can occur in various ways, the most common is excessive braking on downhill stretches like we experience in the mountains between Yuma and San Diego. It can also be caused by carrying heavy loads placing extra load on the brakes.

This can be repaired by placing the rotors on a special lathe and cutting the metal down until the rotors are “true” again. This is known as “turning the rotors”. It is highly recommended that the brake pads be replaced whenever the rotors are “turned” but it is not always absolutely necessary to do so.

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