Does Walmart Do Brakes? Don’t just ignore the sound! If you heard something pressing on your brakes, it is time to fix it. Are you thinking of taking it to Walmart? This article is the ultimate guide to help you fix you brakes at the right place.
Walmart Auto Care Centers don’t offer brake services, meaning its centers will not repair or replace brakes or brake pads. Walmart’s website explains that its Auto Care Centers only offer basic auto maintenance services like oil changes, tire rotations, and battery services.
While you cannot get your brakes serviced at Walmart, you can purchase brake pads, brake rotors, brake calipers, and/or brake pad and rotor kits from a Walmart store or on Walmart.com, and you can install them yourself or find a licensed professional to do the work.
Brake Issues to Look Out For
There are a few tell-tale signs that something is wrong:
A brake pedal that feels “mushy”
A “check brakes” or “check brake fluid” warning light
A brake pedal that goes all the way to the floor when pressed
A grinding noise when braking
Squeaking sounds when braking
Vibrations when braking
Overall, there are many potential problems when you experience these symptoms. But if you are experiencing the “mushy” brakes or have a brake pedal going all the way down to the floor, you may have:
a leak in the brake system,
low brake fluid levels,
dirty brake fluid, or air in the brake fluid.
If you do have a leak, make sure you get it fixed as soon as possible.
Grinding and clunking noises – may indicate missing or loose hardware, or even damaged or missing parts in the suspension system
Brakes that squeak or squeal – usually need new brake pads. In fact, engineers design brake pads to squeal at the end of their lifecycle. This is called a “wear indicator” and means the brake pads are about to wear out completely.
With worn-out pads, the brakes will damage the rest of the system by grinding metal against metal. If you experience vibrations when braking, it may mean:
Bad brake pads (see above)
A bad brake disc
Worn out front suspension
Drums, Brake Pads, or Rotors?
When getting your brakes fixed, the mechanic may mention drums or rotors. This is dependent on one of two types of brake systems:
Drum brakes: the brake shoes come in contact with the drum to slow the car
Disc brakes: where the brake pads and shoes come in contact with a rotor to slow the car down
Drums and rotors wear down the same as brake pads and shoes. When a mechanic puts on new pads or shoes, there must be a smooth and even surface for them to grip or the brakes will not function properly.
Luckily, the drums and rotors may not require complete replacement. Drums and rotors can be “turned” or resurfaced if they are not badly worn. And resurfacing the drums or rotors is a common practice and is safe when done according to the specifications.
Brake Material Types
Ceramic, not just for pottery
Ceramic brake pads were introduced in the 1980s and have gained popularity since then. They’re composed of a material that’s very similar to the ceramic in cookware or dishes, only denser and shot through with copper fibers to help conduct and disperse heat.
Ceramic brake pad material is a softer material which is easier on the rotor, helps with longer service life, less noise and less dust. With ceramic pads, the brake pad replacement cost might be higher than another material, but it offers superior performance.
Semi-metallic brake pads offer great performance. Their friction material consists of a mix of metals, including iron, steel and alloys, held together with a binder and a small amount of graphite lubricant.
Just remember that all these styles of brake pads are a “you get what you pay for” proposition and that corners will be cut in terms of materials and design at the lower price points.
In other words, there’s a big difference between budget-line and premium brake pads, whether they’re ceramic or semi-metallic.
Place That Offer Brake Services
If you’re not comfortable replacing your brakes or brake pads yourself, there are several national full-service auto repair shops that can help with brake services. A few of these shops include:
AutoZone (Note: AutoZone will only service brakes if you purchased the brake parts from AutoZone.)
Let your budget and your driving expectations help you make this decision. And, know that the higher-priced brake pads will just about always offer better performance through better stopping power, longer pad life, lower noise, and less dust.
Drivers should never ignore brake issues and should address them as soon as they come up. Plus, mechanics can typically perform most brake repairs the same day.
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