FAQ’s about Brake Repair and Getting it Done in Tualatin, OR or Washington County


Brake Pads

What is a brake pad anyway? I know that people talk about them but I have no idea what they are and why I need them.

Brake pads press against the brake rotor to slow down the vehicle. Obviously, this act does generate a lot of heat because of the high amount of friction this causes which is why getting your brakes changed is a good thing. Brake pads can get worn down or the brake rotors may get worn down depending on what type of material your brake pad uses.

I always pictured brake pads kind of like sandpaper because of the friction I always hear about when they are talked about. Is that true or not true?

Brake pads are, generally, made up of a bunch of different materials which makes it seem like they would be coarse like sandpaper. However, there is the reality that that coarseness could weaken the rotors more quickly over time. They may not be as coarse as you think they would be because it could damage the components in dangerous ways over time.

Do the brake pads only grab one side of the rotors or do they do like a double grab?

Brake pads grab on to both sides of the brake rotor. They slow the vehicle down through this action. They do use both sides of the brake rotor. It is more efficient this way. In fact, if your brake pads are only catching one side of your Audi then you are probably already noticing that you have a lot of trouble stopping your vehicle.

How can I tell if I need to change my brake pads in my Audi A4?

A lot of people will get a “low brake pad warning”. It is a light that appears on your dashboard.

Do I have to replace my brake pad sensors when I change my brakes?

It is a recommended action by many professionals as the sensors sometimes have problems as well.

What are some other symptoms I can look out for when I need to change my brakes?

Your brakes might start to make noise when you drive.

broken rotor v1

I’ve heard that there is a piece built into the brake pads that cause this to happen. Is that true?

Yes. There are many brake pads that add a metal piece to the brake pads to help you figure out when to take your vehicle in for brake repairs.

I’ve also heard that the rain actually causes this, is it true?

It is only somewhat true. If the squealing leaves the vehicle after the rain and things have dried then it was the rain causing it. However, if it is dry and you are getting that noise then that is an indication that you probably should have your brake pads changed and you may even need to replace your rotors.

It rains a lot here in Tualatin, Oregon. I’m getting squealing noises but I’m starting to get a loud grinding type noise coming from there… Based on what you are telling me, that’s probably bad right?

You are correct. What you are hearing is that your metal backing plate is rubbing, or grinding in this case, against the rotor. If you allow it to stay like this then you could do significant damage to your vehicle.

I can see my brake pads… Is there something I should be looking for specifically?

Sure. If you can see your brake pads then you want them to be 3mm or thicker. If they are less than that then you are sure to have problems and you should get them changed as soon as you can do so.

I think I can eke out a few miles even with my noises and stuff. I’m a good driver. A smart idea?

No. You should never drive with worn down brakes.

I’ve heard that when a brake replacement or repair is done, that it needs to be done in pairs. Is that true?

Yes. It is done in conjunction with the other side. The two front brakes are replaced together which also goes for the rear brakes. It is always done in pairs.

Why is this done like that?

The truth is that driving and driving habits are not symmetrical. You do not drive the same way on each of the wheels. They are changed on both sides at the same time to keep them from being worn down at different levels. Having brakes worn down to different levels means that the braking power will not be the same on both sides which makes it harder to predict how the vehicle will stop which is not what you need when you are driving.

How do I contact you to work with you?

You can call 503-692-0846. You can also visit us at 19460 SW 89th Ave. in Tualatin, Oregon 97062.