Hearing Brake Noise?
Stopping power is crucial to a safe and successful driving experience. When you need brake service, your Certified Service experts at Trapp Chevrolet can recommend quality ACDelco Gold (Professional) or GM Genuine Parts brakes.
Most ACDelco Gold Front Brake Pads Installed
24 Months/Unlimited Mile Warranty**
ACDelco Silver Front Brake Rotors installed on most cars & small SUVs
12 Months/Unlimited Mile Warranty**
ACDelco Silver Front Brake Rotors installed on most trucks and full-size SUVs
12 Months/Unlimited Mile Warranty**
Determining the Time for Brake Repair or Replacement
Sometimes, your vehicle’s brakes will alert you when there is trouble. Squealing noises, chirping sounds, and grinding are indications that brake repair is required.
Brake Pad Warning Indicator
GM brake pads often come equipped with a small, thin piece of metal attached to them to act as a warning indicator when the pad material is getting low and the brake pads should be replaced. This device makes a high-pitched sound on brake application, letting you know it is time for brake service.
Are your brakes signaling a problem?
Sometimes, your Chevrolet vehicle's brakes will alert you when there's trouble. Whistling noises, chirping sounds, and grinding are a few of the indications that brake service may be required. It is important to quickly recognize signs of reduced system performance. Some signs to watch for are:
- Pulsing brake pedal or shaking steering wheel when brakes are applied
- Soft brake pedal
- Squealing or grinding noise when brakes are applied
- Unusual odor at the wheel area
- Excessive brake dust on wheel
Various GM vehicles often come equipped with brake pads that include a small, thin piece of metal to act as a warning indicator when the pad material is getting low and the brake pads should be replaced. This device makes a chirping noise on brake application, letting you know it's time to have your brakes serviced.
Brake service FAQ
How do I know when I need new brakes?
GM Brake pads are equipped with wear indicators that produce a squealing noise when the brakes are almost worn out. The noise may be present with or without the brake pedal applied, but when noise is heard from the wear indicator, the brake pads should be replaced as soon as possible.
Wear indicators are set to create noise when there is around 2 mm of brake pad friction material thickness remaining. In the case of assessing pad wear through inspection, pads should be replaced at or before 2 mm thickness is reached.
Rotors should be replaced before they reach this minimum thickness and should not be turned below this.
Must I always turn or replace my rotors when changing my pads?
No. If there are no conditions such as pedal pulsation or steering-wheel vibration during braking, and the brake rotor is at least 1 mm thicker than the discard thickness, then it does not need to be turned or replaced.
Do I have to replace my brake rotors after a certain amount of time?
No, but it is a good idea to check the condition of your rotors at every tire rotation.
Why does my brake pedal pulse?
Brake-pedal pulsation and other conditions such as steering-wheel shaking while braking are caused by thickness variation in the brake rotor when a thicker spot of the rotor rotates through the caliper, it pushes back against brake fluid, which can be felt at the brake pedal. The brake fluid and pedal then relax again as the thick spot exits the caliper. This process produces pedal pulsation and “brake torque variation,” which can shake the steering wheel and seats. Brake pulsation is not caused by warping of the disc. However, distortion of the disc due to excessive temperatures or improper installation and torqueing of the wheels can lead to brake rotor thickness variation over time. Brake-pedal pulsation is corrected by turning and/or replacing the brake rotors to eliminate the thickness variation.
Why do my brakes squeal? How can I stop it?
Brake squeal is caused by the high-frequency vibration of brake components (rotor, calipers, and/or pads) in response to excitation from the brake friction process. A significant amount of time and engineering goes into eliminating brake squeal from original equipment brake components. Brake components are engineered as a complete system—factory-original performance can only be assured when using original equipment brake pads and rotors. When brake squeal occurs, there may be damage or excessive wear on one or more components affecting noise, including the brake pads, the noise-damping shim that is bonded to the brake pad, or the rotor friction surface.
In addition, it should be recognized that high-performance and track-capable brake systems using high-performance pad materials may be at higher risk for producing brake squeal noise, even when no damage to the components is present.
How long will my brake pads last?
Brake pad life depends on driving habits, vehicle usage, and operating environment. Brake systems are designed to provide 20,000 to 25,000 miles of pad life in very severe use (such as heavy-traffic urban areas) and can give 40,000 to 60,000 miles of pad life in average use. Some factors that will reduce pad life include frequent heavy braking, elevated temperatures (caused by high-speed braking, driving in mountainous areas), driving with the vehicle heavily loaded, and severe environments such as high-corrosion areas and areas with a lot of road debris and dust.
Do metallic brake pads eat rotors?
Yes. Pads with higher metal content will tend to operate with more abrasive friction, where hard metal particles in the pad interact directly with the brake rotor surface. Use of metallic pads will create more brake dust and will shorten the rotor life. Non-asbestos organic pads (also known as ceramic pads) used on most GM vehicles in North America develop a transfer film, a layer of material on the pad and rotor surface that acts as a cushion (at a microscopic scale) between the brake pad and rotor, protecting both from abrasive interaction that causes wear.
My brake pads are very dusty. Are all pads dusty?
Brake dust can occur to some extent on most brake systems, but it is significantly more noticeable with metallic pads and on high-performance brake systems. Brake dust is a mix of debris from the brake rotor, which is the most significant component, and debris from the brake pads. Pad materials that wear the rotor more aggressively will cause more dust.
Are all brake rotors the same?
While brake rotors designed to fit the same vehicle will often be similar in appearance and dimensions, there can be differences in internal cooling vane design, thickness of the brake plates (against which the brake pad rubs), and the grade and material specification of the cast iron. For original equipment brake rotors, significant analysis and testing goes into determining the right geometry to minimize thermal distortion and squeal noise and to maximize cooling. Similar rigor is put into the material selection, which can also affect the risk of squeal noise as well as friction and wear properties.
Certified Brake Service in Houma
After regularly commuting from Thibodaux to Morgan City, you might notice that your vehicle's stopping power isn't up to par. This might lead you to be asking, "how to know when to change brakes?" It's time to change your brakes when you notice them beginning to squeal or not stop as quickly. At Trapp Chevrolet, we have a full team of technicians ready to perform certified brake services on your vehicle. If you're wondering how to know when to change brakes or you notice your brakes need servicing, schedule a service appointment today for assistance.
Benefits of Getting Certified Brake Services at Trapp Chevrolet
After you've figured out the answer to "how to know when to change brakes?" you're likely going to begin the search for a certified service center. While we understand there are many service centers around Cut Off, we're excited to show you why we stand out from the rest. Not only will you receive the best customer service around when you're getting certified brake services performed at our dealership, but you can also expect fair prices. We're a one-stop-shop kind of dealership, so there are many other advantages of choosing us as your premier dealership. Let's take a look at some of them:
- We understand our customers have busy lives. So, we offer a quick lube live stream so that you can plan out your day and ensure that when you stop in for brake services, we're open and ready. However, please give us a call beforehand to confirm availability.
- Our certified technicians are here to help. To keep your vehicle running like new, our service experts have put together a guide of different service tips and tricks you can browse through.
- If you're more of a DIY kind of person, we get that. While we recommend stopping in at Trapp Chevrolet for professional brake services, our parts department is here to provide you with genuine OEM parts. We'll also answer any questions you may have regarding replacing your brakes.
There are a plethora of advantages when you choose our service department for assistance. Visit us today to see what makes us different from our competitors.
Get Your Brakes Services & Maintained Today at Trapp Chevrolet!
Maintaining your vehicle and ensuring its brakes are performing like new is vital to ensuring you have safe drives in Houma. We genuinely care about our customers here at Trapp Chevrolet, and we want your vehicle to be in tip-top shape to guarantee nothing catastrophic occurs. Whether you need your brakes serviced or advice on brake maintenance, we're here to help. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out!