National average cost of a Brake Inspection for popular vehicles:
Avg. cost $94
Avg. cost $97
Avg. cost $87
What is a brake inspection and how does it work?
A brake inspection is an evaluation of the brake system, one of the most important safety features on your vehicle. It is a checkup for your brakes. The service is aimed at helping you to avoid costly repairs due to worn parts and to give you peace of mind that your vehicle will perform as it should when you press the brake pedal.
During a brake inspection, a qualified technician will visually examine the components of your brake system for wear, damage, or signs of corrosion. The technician will also take measurements to make sure those components are within specifications and perform a test drive to detect any irregularities. If problems are detected, a recommendation will be made for additional services.
How do I know if my vehicle needs a brake inspection?
Certain components of the brake system on your vehicle - the brake pads, for instance - will wear out over time and need to be replaced. Therefore, brake pad replacement is considered to be part of routine vehicle maintenance. If you wait too long to have your brake pads replaced, significant damage can occur to other parts of the system. The same can be said of brake shoes, drums, and rotors. A brake inspection gives you information as to the current state of your brake system.
There are other times when a brake inspection might be necessary. If you suspect there is a problem with your brakes, a brake inspection will reveal the cause of the problem. Signs of trouble with your brakes include
Squealing or grinding noises when you press the brake pedal
Your vehicle pulls to one side when driving or braking
The brakes seem to drag
You feel a vibration when braking
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During a typical brake inspection, a technician will examine many aspects of your vehicle’s braking system. Steps taken during a brake inspection might include the following
Test drive your vehicle to detect any irregularities in the performance of the brake system
Check operation of the parking brake
Open the hood to inspect the master cylinder, power booster, brake lines, vacuum hose, and ABS actuator for signs of corrosion or leaks.
Check the level and condition of the brake fluid in the master cylinder reservoir
Raise your vehicle on a lift to inspect the undercarriage for signs of damage, wear, and leaks. This includes the brake lines, mounting brackets, wheel cylinders, and other underbody components.
Remove the wheels and tires for access
Inspect the brake caliper assemblies for signs of corrosion or leaking fluid
Check the brake rotors for even wear and warpage
Measure the rotors to make sure they fall within the manufacturer’s recommendation for minimum thickness
Check the brake pads for wear and assess how much pad life is left
Remove the rear brake drums (if applicable) and check the condition and life of the brake shoes (or the parking brake shoes)
Inspect hardware and other components, such as springs, clips, backing plates, and more
Reinstall all components and lower your vehicle to the ground
OTHER QUESTIONS CUSTOMERS ASK
How long does it take for a brake inspection?
Depending on your vehicle make and model, a brake inspection will take about 30 minutes. If your brakes need additional service, such as having the rotors resurfaced and the brake pads replaced, additional time will be needed. A detailed estimate of repairs and repair times will be included with any recommendations made by the technician performing the inspection.
What is a free brake check?
Some repair shops advertise a free brake check or inspection with hopes that you will schedule repair services with them in the future. Or that they will find something that needs to be repaired and make a recommendation for service. It is important to make sure that the items included in a free brake inspection are comprehensive and include the entire system.
Should you replace all four brake pads at once?
The front and rear brakes on a vehicle do not share responsibility evenly. The front brake pads do most of the work, causing them to wear faster and need replacement more often than rear pads or shoes. Therefore, it is generally not necessary to replace all four at once, unless they are all worn to the same degree. It is, however, important to replace your brake pads in pairs, left and right.