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1476 Bower Hill Road
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241
(412) 221-4300
 

Automotive Tips from Calabro Tire & Auto Service: Brake Noise

Your brake pads are the important parts that rub against the rotor (or disc) to slow and stop your car when driving in Pittsburgh. They eventually wear down.

When your pads are worn too much, they won’t stop your vehicle as well. When the friction material is worn away, metal parts of the pad are exposed and you’ll hear a squeal or grinding sound.

That’s when Pittsburgh drivers should replace their brake pads at Calabro Tire & Auto Service. Not only will new pads restore your stopping power, but replacing them on time will prevent damage to the rotor.

If your brakes are making noise, ask your Calabro Tire & Auto Service service advisor to inspect your brakes. Addressing problems early will restore your safety and prevent expensive brake damage.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300

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Hitting The Brakes In Clairton

Hello Pittsburgh, let's talk about brakes. Hitting But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There's also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.

Let's step back. A new vehicle or truck rolls off a local Pittsburgh showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.

Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles/kilometers start to add up on the vehicle. Pittsburgh drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That's because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it's not until they are worn so thin as to be out of 'specs'  that they lose their ability to stop.

The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over long distances around PA, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail - a scary possibility. That's why a regular brake inspection at Calabro Tire & Auto Service is important for your vehicle and your family's safety. At Calabro Tire & Auto Service we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.

That leads us to brake fluid service at Calabro Tire & Auto Service. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the vehicle fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Calabro Tire & Auto Service cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.

The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the more quickly you'll stop.

This is especially important on wet Bridgeville area roads and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. PA vehicle owners need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300
http://calabrotireautoservice.autovideotipsblog.com

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Hitting the Brakes in Pittsburgh

Safety should always be an element of your vehicle care. So even if you don't care about how your vehicle looks, you should practice preventive maintenance to protect yourself — and other Pittsburgh drivers — on the road. And good safety starts with good brakes.

Brakes need a regular inspection. There are  parts that wear out or wear down, and it's best to replace them before you have serious problems.

Of course, if you are having trouble with your brakes, NOW is the time to fix them. If your brake warning light is on, that's a good sign that you need your brakes checked. You can also tell something is wrong with your brakes by the feel of the pedal or unusual sounds while braking. If the brake pedal is low, feels spongy when you press it or is hard to push, that indicates a problem with your brakes. If you hear squealing, grinding or clunking noises when you brake, that can also indicate serious problems. If vibrations accompany braking, then it is to get your brakes checked.

Brakes come in two basic types. With disc brakes, a rotor is attached to the axle of the vehicle. Padded calipers straddle the rotor and close when the brakes are applied. The resulting friction causes the rotor — and the axle — to stop turning. With drum brakes, brake pads (also called shoes) press against the inside of a drum to create friction and stop the drum, and hence the vehicle's wheels, from turning.

When Calabro Tire & Auto Service services your brake system, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor checks all of the brake pads for wear. If they are too thin, they need to be replaced. This is an inexpensive repair at Calabro Tire & Auto Service compared to what procrastination will cost you. If pads wear away completely, then the rotors and drums can be damaged. They will have to be either resurfaced or replaced, and that can be expensive. But if your vehicle brake pads are worn out, then your brakes are compromised and your stopping power is greatly reduced. You could easily wind up in an accident.

Brake pads come in several different grades such as regular, metallic and ceramic. The higher grades are more expensive, but they also work better. PA drivers who want better and smoother braking should consider upgrading. However, Pittsburgh drivers should NEVER use a brake pad that is lower than their vehicle manufacturer's recommendation.

After your brake pads are checked at Calabro Tire & Auto Service, it's also wise to have your brake fluid checked. This is a critical element in your brake system. When you press your brake pedal, you are compressing the brake fluid, creating pressure that activates the brake pads. If your fluid pressure is low, it will decrease your braking power. The pads just won't be able to press hard enough against the rotor or drum to stop your vehicle. Just as with worn pads, insufficient brake fluid can lead to an accident in Pittsburgh.

Water can build up in your brake fluid, which can cause corrosion in your braking system. Eventually this can cause your brake fluid to leak. So Pittsburgh drivers should also change their brake fluid periodically. Your vehicle owner's manual will have guidelines on how often it should be replaced, or you can ask a service advisor at Calabro Tire & Auto Service. 

Remember, Pittsburgh folks, safety first. It's auto advice for all Pittsburgh drivers on the road. You're not just protecting others; you're protecting yourself.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300

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Put on the Brakes: Brake Service at Calabro Tire & Auto Service

When it comes to preventive maintenance and vehicle care, most Pittsburgh drivers know how important it is to check their brakes. But brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction which stops the vehicle. It's no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, but that doesn't mean your braking gradually becomes less effective. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

But your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection at Calabro Tire & Auto Service in Pittsburgh  includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your friendly and knowledgeable pros at Calabro Tire & Auto Service can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at Calabro Tire & Auto Service as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture buildup inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at Calabro Tire & Auto Service in Pittsburgh, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris and dirt.

It is important to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your vehicle tires are worn, you won't get good stopping power. Traction is the power of your tires gripping to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with a good tread. Good traction translates to good braking.

This is particularly important on wet Pittsburgh roads. A good tire will give you good braking on either wet or dry PA roads. But stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as the vehicle passes over the wet road, improving  contact between the tire's surface and the road; that maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly the loss of control.

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your vehicle and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires. Thus, brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

Regardless of what kind of car you drive in Pittsburgh, it is always good auto advice to keep your brake system in good repair, and that means ALL of your brake system. Just one more way to keep your travels accident- and worry-free.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300

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Stop It! You Need Good Brakes

Good brakes are obviously very important. If you've ever had your brakes go out while you're driving around the Pittsburgh area, you'll know how terrifying it can be. Today we'll focus on how to tell when you have a brake problem and how to make good repair choices.

Often, the first indication that something's wrong with the brakes is an unusual sound. It could be a squeal, chatter or grinding sound.

Some brake pads have a little piece of metal embedded in them that will make a squeal or chirping sound when the brake pads have been worn down to the point that they need to be replaced. It's an early warning indicator.

When you hear that sound, schedule an appointment at Calabro Tire & Auto Service soon.

Now a chattering sound is more urgent. That usually indicates that something is loose. It could be a brake pad or even the brake calipers. If one of those parts falls off, you could have some serious trouble stopping the vehicle. It would be a good idea to park it until you can get into the shop.

A grinding noise usually means that the brake pad is completely worn away and the metal parts of the brake are rubbing directly on the metal brake rotor. That means the rotor is being damaged and will need some work. More on that later.

Another warning sign is that your brake pedal may feel soft and spongy – or it may even feel very hard to push in. Both could mean trouble. And of course, you may get a dashboard brake warning light.

Now when it comes time to replace your brake pads, you have a choice to make. You can get the same pads that came standard on your vehicle. You can expect the same performance and durability as with the pads that came on the car from the factory.

Now you can also get a budget brake pad. Sometimes Pittsburgh drivers insist on lower cost pads. That's OK if the budget demands it, but you need to be aware of the tradeoffs. Lower grade pads are usually noisier, so you'll have to live with more noise when you apply the brakes. They also tend to generate a lot more brake dust, you know, that black dust that accumulates on your wheels. And they probably won't last as long either. In our opinion, that's a lot of compromise for just a few dollars in savings.

You can also choose to buy premium brakes pads at Calabro Tire & Auto Service. These perform at higher specifications than the factory pads. You can expect quieter operation, less brake dust and better stopping power.

Now, getting back to the rotors. The rotors are the discs that the brake pads clamp down on to stop the vehicle. If you've been driving with completely worn brake pads, you've scratched grooves into the rotors. If the grooves aren't too deep, the rotor can be resurfaced. A thin layer of metal is cut off the surface of the rotor to make it smooth again.

Now, if the grooves are too deep or if the rotor has already be resurfaced before, there may not be enough material to resurface and still have a rotor that's thick enough to safely stop the vehicle. In that case, the rotor will have to be replaced.

Something that's often overlooked is the brake fluid. Your manufacturer has a recommended schedule for evacuating the old brake fluid, cleaning the system and refilling it with fresh brake fluid. This is really important to brake performance.

So here's the bottom line: if you suspect, inspect. If you notice any of these warning signs, have your brakes inspected at Calabro Tire & Auto Service in Pittsburgh. Your service advisor can help you make the repair decision that's right for you.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300

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Braking News: Keep Your Stopping Power

Richard Petty once told AutoNetTV, “You've gotta have good brakes. If you've got good brakes you can keep yourself out of a lotta trouble.”

That's why a regular brake inspection is on every Pittsburgh driver's maintenance schedule. An inspection by your service advisor at Calabro Tire & Auto Service will check your brake system and let you know if there are any problems.

Of course, if you're having trouble with your brakes, get your car into Calabro Tire & Auto Service in Pittsburgh right away. Here are some symptoms for Pittsburgh drivers to watch for:

  • Low or spongy brake pedal
  • Hard brake pedal
  • A brake warning light that stays on
  • Constantly squealing or grinding brakes
  • Vibrations or clunking sounds when you apply your brakes

If you are experiencing any of these, it's time to get your brakes checked. Talk to your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Calabro Tire & Auto Service .

There are two types of brakes: disc and drum. Disc brakes have a rotor that's attached to the axle. Calipers straddle the rotor, kind of like the brakes on a bicycle.

Drum brakes are most common on back wheels. Both types have pads or shoes that press against the brakes and slow the vehicle. Brake pads and shoes are made out of very tough material to withstand the heat and force generated when stopping your vehicle. Eventually, they wear out with use and become too thin and need to be replaced at Calabro Tire & Auto Service. 

If the brake pads wear away completely, you can damage the rotors. The calipers can grind grooves in the rotor. Then the rotor must either be resurfaced or replaced. That's not only expensive but also dangerous because your vehicle won't stop as quickly. Sometimes rotors warp or crack and must be replaced.

A brake service at Calabro Tire & Auto Service will also include a check of your brake fluid. When the brakes are applied, the pressure in the fluid activates the brake pads or shoes. Not enough fluid means not enough pressure to brake properly. Also, water builds up in the brake fluid over time, which leads to corrosion, leaks and brake damage, and with hard use, the brakes could severely fade or even fail. Pittsburgh  drivers should change the brake fluid when their  vehicle manufacturer recommends to avoid these problems.

Come in to Calabro Tire & Auto Service for an brake inspection before damage occurs. You can call ahead for an appointment by calling 412.221.4300.

Calabro Tire & Auto Service
1476 Bower Hill Rd
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
412.221.4300

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Calabro Tire & Auto Service

Calabro Tire & Auto Service is a pillar of the community. Calabro Tire & Auto Service is a leader in offering name brand tires, auto repair and brake services for customers located in and around the Upper St. Clair, Pennsylvania area. Our goal is to focus on customer service. It is the foundation of our business. Calabro Tire & Auto Service employs a well-trained staff specializing in the sale and installation of passenger car, performance and light truck or SUV tires. Complete under-car services, such as oil changes, brakes, shocks, struts, alignment, and transmission fluid flush for both foreign and domestic vehicles are readily available at competitive prices. Take this opportunity to browse Calabro Tire & Auto Service website or call any of our stores for personalized service.

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Phone: (412) 221-4300
Fax: (412) 257-1940
Address: 1476 Bower Hill Road
Upper St. Clair, PA 15241

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