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1558 S Wabash Ave
Chicago, IL
312.462.0070

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Most stores are open nights and weekends

Store Hours:
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MON-FRI: 6:00am-8:00pm
SAT: 7:00am-6:00pm
SUN: 8:00am-5:00pm
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Schedule a free brake inspection today!

Brake Inspection, Service, And Repair

Your brakes are the most important safety mechanism on your car, helping you control your vehicle and avoid collisions on a daily basis. That means it’s critical for drivers to understand when to change brake fluid and take other preventative steps to keepbrakes in good working condition.

If you’ve got questions about your brake system, we’ve got answers to common questions below, including how often to change brake fluid, what bleedingbrakes means, symptoms of disc brake issues, and more.

Searching for “free brake inspection near me”? Detailed brake inspections at your local Firestone Complete Auto Careare always free of charge.* We even offer regular brake service coupons, so save yourself time and money by scheduling a service appointmentat the first sign of brake issues. And while you're in, ask your Firestone Complete Auto Care technician about a Complete Vehicle Inspection to help you stay on top of maintenance and keep small issues from becoming big repairs down the road.

*Brake service costs extra. [Coupon required.]

SIGNS OF BRAKE ISSUES

Although we recommend checking your brakes at least once a year, the following symptoms may indicate that you should have your brakes inspected immediately:

  • Grinding, squeaking, or squealing brakes
  • Brake pedal feels soft or spongy
  • Shaking steering wheel during braking
  • Brake pedal pulsating when you brake at highway speeds
  • Car pulls to one side while braking
  • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) or BRAKE warning lights illuminated

If you are experiencing any of the above, bring your car in for a free brake check.

BRAKE SERVICE & INSPECTION

If you're in need of a brake service and inspection, look no further than Firestone Complete Auto Care, where we offer free brake inspections* year-round. Bring in your vehicle, and our Tire and Auto Service Professionals will perform a free brake inspection service that includes:

  • Measurement of front and rear brake pad/shoes wear
  • Measurement of rotor wear
  • Measurement of drum wear
  • Brake fluid test
  • Parking/emergency brake inspection

During your complimentary inspection, we'll determine whether your vehicle needs any further brake service, such as:

  • New brake pads or shoes
  • New or resurfaced brake rotors or drums
  • Brake fluid exchange
  • Brake bleeding
  • Replacement of brake lines, hoses, or other brake components

*Brake service costs extra. [Coupon required.]

When to Change Brake Fluid

Does brake fluid need to be changed? The answer is yes! Over time, brake fluid becomes contaminated as copper content increases or if oil or moisture enters the system. Most brake components contain copper, and when copper is exposed to moisture, it begins to erode. As brake components erode, particles start to contaminate the brake fluid. Contaminated fluid makes components of your brakes wear down faster than usual, affecting the performance of your brakes and potentially damaging your entire brake system.

What’s more, moisture in the brake lines lowers the boiling point of hydraulic fluid. A lower boiling point increases the chances that some of your brake fluid may evaporate when it gets hot during braking. When there aren’t sufficient amounts of brake fluid, you may need to press the brake pedal down farther to activate the brakes, and your braking effectiveness may be compromised. That’s why it’s important to regularly inspect brake fluid levels in the master cylinder and check your owner’s manual for manufacturer-recommended fluid change intervals.

If you’re not sure whether your brake fluid should be exchanged, simply have your brakes inspected free of charge at your nearest Firestone Complete Auto Care. During your brake inspection, a vehicle service professional will inspect and test your brake fluid to determine if it needs to be changed.

What Does Bleeding Brakes Mean?

Don’t worry; there’s no blood involved! Bleeding your brakes becomes necessary when air bubbles get into your brake fluid line. This can be caused by a leak, not enough brake fluid in the master cylinder, or simply from having work done on your brakes. If air makes its way into your brake fluid line, it causes your brake pedal to have a soft, spongy feeling when you press down on it.

When you notice a spongy or squishy feel to your brake pedal, you’re likely in need of brake bleeding —which involves a technician using bleeder screws on your brake calipers or wheel cylinders to remove any air bubbles that may have entered the system.

Don’t put your safety at risk by skipping critical brake maintenance. Have your car’s brakes inspected regularly and at the first signs of brake issues. Schedule your brake service or a free brake inspection today! Most stores are open nights and weekends.

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