Repairing vs Replacing Brakes: Which is Needed?

In most cases, by the time you've recognized one of these red flags, you're in need of a replacement of brake pads or rotors:

  • A too-soft brake pedal that's not responding quickly
  • Grinding or squealing noises when braking
  • An acrid burning smell when braking
  • The brake light on the dashboard lights up yellow or red

Some smaller issues, however, can be repaired and spare you having to replace multiple components. Having your finger on the metaphorical pulse of your braking system means that you can know there's a problem before the big warning signs.

Frequently-Asked Questions About Brakes & Brake Repair

Be smart about your brakes, and you can be confident in your car. It's as simple as that.

"Why are my brakes making noise?"

There are a variety of reasons for your brakes making noise--many times, if it's just a small squeak, it's only because the brakes have gotten wet. If the noise goes away within a few hours, you probably have nothing to worry about. But, if there's a loud or persistent squeal, you likely have a problem with worn-out brake pads or pads that were not put on correctly.

"How long do brakes last?"

The brake pads and rotors will wear down over time, but there's no specific estimate for lifespan because all of us drive so differently. If you mostly drive on the highway at cruising speeds (and brake gently), your pads and rotors will last longer than someone constantly stuck in California stop-and-go traffic who may be braking hard. Heavier vehicles also burn through brake pads faster because of the energy needed to stop. Getting your brakes looked at, even just a quick visual inspection, every time you come in, will help us know when they need to be replaced.

"Do I need to change my brake fluid?"

It's a good idea to change your brake fluid if it's old enough for the additives to start breaking down; however, there are no specified brake fluid service intervals for most major automakers. Your technician will be able to help you make that call.

Want to know more about brakes and brake service or have questions regarding oil changestire rotations or battery service? Contact us online, or schedule your appointment.

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Honda of El Cerrito

11755 San Pablo Ave
Directions El Cerrito, CA 94530

  • CONTACT US: 833-388-1112


  • Monday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Tuesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Wednesday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Thursday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Friday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday 11:00 AM - 7:00 PM