When it comes to brake repairs in Fort Collins, you have a lot of options. Brakes Plus, Just Brakes, Midas, the dealership, or your favorite independent repair shop are probably what you consider. You’re also wondering how long it will take, what’s the price going to be and who’s going to do a good job. These are all reasonable and valid considerations and I’m going to speak from the side of what the independent repair shop in Fort Collins brings to the table, as with brakes and most other auto repairs, it’s a philosophy that separates independents from the other options you have for where to get your brakes repaired. Brakes are responsible for one of the two basic necessary functions of a vehicle–to go and stop. They are directly related to your safety and the safety of others, can be very costly and cause further damage if repaired incorrectly, and are therefore not a repair we recommend you try to “get done cheap”. Brakes are actually complex repairs and involve many moving parts and idiosyncrasies that depend on the vehicle and person’s driving habits. It’s to your benefit to have them repaired at the highest possible quality, the first time.
Some of the most common fixes we see gone wrong are brake repairs. We’ve seen it all: brake pads installed backwards, loose caliper bolts due to improper torqueing, calipers installed upside down, cheap and quickly worn-out brake pads, rotors not measured correctly and unevenly worn due to poor installation, un-lubricated guide pins, rotors not machined, and even pads not installed at all! In fact, you’d be amazed what we sometimes see roll into the shop.
When brake repairs are completed subpar, it can lead to a multitude of problems down the road including damage caused to related parts, destroying new parts that were recently installed, shortening the life of brakes and requiring you to get new ones again in a much shorter time frame, and worse-case scenario your brakes failing! Ultimately, most of the consequences of poor brake jobs cost you–the customer– time, money, and headache.
Poor brake jobs are unfortunately pretty common across the industry. Take, for example, a “pad slap”, which is when brake pads are replaced without replacing or machining the rotors. When brake pads are replaced, it’s imperative to fix the rotors as well. When you hit your brakes, the brake pads rub against the rotors, making the vehicle stop. Brake pads and rotors wear together over time, getting thinner and thinner until needing to be replaced. Replacing pads without doing anything to the rotors wears the new pads faster since the rotors have been worn to fit the old pads. Rotors that are too thin need to be replaced and if they still have enough thickness, they need to be machined to smooth them out and make them like new for the new pads. Oftentimes this step is skipped, resulting in a subpar brake job that you may be happy with because it didn’t cost you much dough at the time of the repair. However, you may be surprised to find yourself back for new brakes sooner than you would expect. Other, more serious failures, such as brake pads being installed backwards (surprisingly more common than you may think), can be much more costly to fix and can cause damage to related parts as well.
A good brake job is completed by a highly trained professional and takes time. A more thoughtful inspection is completed and expert recommendations are made based on good judgment and experience. Services you may be unaware of, such as a brake fluid flush, may be recommended with the goal of helping to extend the life of your new brakes. And don’t forget, it’s true that high quality parts are indeed higher quality! Cheap brake pads are a bad idea! Quality is what you get when an expert performs your brake repair.
As such, brake repairs really aren’t the best jobs for rookie techs; as mentioned before, the job is more complex than many people are lead to believe. Low quality parts and labor means you have to replace your brakes more frequently, making the money you put into your brakes ultimately more than if you had just gotten them done right the first time (which may more expensive than a Brakes Plus job, so don’t be surprised). Having care in caring for your vehicle goes a long way in helping to keep you on the road longer and saving you a lot of headache.
If you're seeking a brake job you can count on, we've got you covered. Give us a call 970-484-7556, and we'll get you right in. 👍