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A Consumer’s Guide to Brake Repair

Brake repair seems pretty standard issue, but brake repair requirements vary with each auto brand, driving habits, and the terrain on which you drive. To clarify what is to be expected for brake repair, here is a consumer’s guide that will help car owners understand their rights and what to expect from brake repair shops.

Unless you are mechanically inclined, brakes are a mystery to many drivers. The majority of car owners understand that brakes make your vehicle stop, and they may even understand the components of a brake system. That is why this consumer’s guide should help clear up many questions about brake repair.

Choosing a Brake Repair Shop:

If you ask friends, family, or co-workers about a good repair shop, they may gladly recommend you to a brake repair shop they trust. You may also go to online review sites such as Yelp, Google, or Facebook to see how others rank your chosen brake repair shop. When choosing a brake repair shop, you have the right to get a written estimate and to get a second opinion to compare prices.

Brake system parts:

  • Rotors
  • Discs
  • Calipers
  • Pads
  • Drums
  • Shoes
  • Wheel cylinders
  • Master cylinder
  • Lines
  • Hoses
  • Brake booster
  • Combination valve
  • Attaching hardware
  • Anti-lock braking system
    • Hydraulic actuator
    • Wheel speed sensors
    • Electronic control unit

Normal Brake Maintenance:

For normal brake maintenance, the master cylinder should be checked and the brake fluid should be at the proper level. When your brake repair shop recommends new fluid or hardware to complete your brake repair, get a full explanation in writing why it is necessary. At Central Avenue Automotive, we always explain and write down the reasons we have made changes or replaced equipment during brake repair.

Brake Inspections

When you bring your vehicle in for brake inspections, your brake repair shop should give it a thorough visual inspection. By law, a brake repair facility is required to provide a written estimate for brake repairs if the cost will be $20 or more. This allows consumers the freedom to compare prices among competing brake repair shops. Make sure when comparing prices that you notice the fees for parts and labor among the different shops. If you are uncertain of a listed fee on an estimate, ask the brake repair staff to explain themselves. Central Avenue Automotive will be happy to explain everything regarding our brake inspections and repair estimates, of course.

Advertised Specials for Brakes

Some repair shops offer advertised specials for brake repair, and Central Avenue Automotive is no exception. When you inquire about an advertised special, find out exactly what is included and what is not included. If the advertised special offers a discount “for most vehicles”, ask if your vehicle qualifies and if it doesn’t, find out why. If you cannot get a satisfactory answer, go elsewhere for brake repair.


All warranties for brake repair and auto repair must be in writing, clearly stating what is warranted and for how long. Warranties must specify whether they cover parts, or labor, or both.

When the Brake Repair is Complete

When the brake repair work is complete, you should receive a written final invoice. If you discover that the brake repair work was incomplete, or if problems develop after the brake repair, return to that brake repair facility and have them fix it. Most brake repair shops are happy to settle a complaint, because they understand that errors can happen and they should make things right. However, if you wish to make a formal complaint against the brake repair shop, make sure you keep the written final invoice and all related paperwork in case there are any questions about the case. Fortunately, most of our customers have a terrific experience with brake repair at Central Avenue Automotive.

When you bring your vehicle in for brake repair and brake service at Central Avenue Automotive in Kent, Washington, we will do a complete and thorough service that will keep your vehicle running safe and sound. Whenever you have a question about brake repair, brake service or any other auto repair issue, contact your friend in the auto industry, Central Avenue Automotive in Kent, WA. You may call us at (253) 854-6762, or visit us at 1514 Central Avenue South, Kent, WA 98032.

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