The Brake Squad Blog

Tips for Improving Gas Mileage, Part II

mobile brake service Alt Text: Close Up of a Hand Coming Out of a Black Sleeve Holding a Gas Pump While Fueling a White Car

In part I of this blog, we talked about improving gas mileage by ensuring your gas cap is secure, watching your speed, and utilizing cruise control. Here are a few more gas-saving tips from our mobile brake service company:

4. Watch your weight: The more your car weighs, the more strain there will be on the engine, causing it to work harder and use more fuel. Try to avoid keeping unnecessary things in your vehicle that will increase its weight.

5. Inflate tires to correct pressure: Operating your car with low tire pressure will increase your tires’ rolling resistance, making your engine work harder. Regularly checking your tire pressure ensures that your tires are properly inflated and will help with fuel economy.

6. Use the recommended motor oil: Every engine is designed to work with a specific type of motor oil. Using a heavier weight of oil than recommended can create too much friction, causing the engine to work harder and as a result burn more fuel.

These are just a few tips for improving your gas mileage, and some strategies even help to prevent wear on your brakes, allowing you to take more time between mobile brake service appointments. Now you can start thinking about what to do with the money you’ll save on fuel!

Tips for Improving Gas Mileage, Part I

Black and Red Fuel Pump Inside of a White Sedan while it Refuels

Everyone wants to save money, and one way to do so is by making sure your car is getting the best gas mileage possible. Here are a few ways to get better gas mileage, and some of these tips will also save your brakes so that you can go longer between brake repair service appointments:

1. Ensure the gas cap is fully sealed: A gas cap that fails to form an airtight seal will allow oxygen to pass into your gas tank, which increases how much air enters your car’s fuel, forcing your engine to use more gas which increases consumption. Bonus tip: A missing or loose gas cap is often the cause of your check engine light being on!

2. Watch your speed: Avoid excessive speeds and accelerate more slowly to reduce how much fuel you use. Quickly accelerating and braking makes your engine work harder which uses more fuel, and gas mileage typically worsens at speeds over 55 mph because of the increased wind friction.

3. Use your cruise (control): We often end up unconsciously matching the speed of other vehicles on the road when driving, so by utilizing your cruise control you can ensure that you maintain a gas-efficient (and legal) speed, and you will also accelerate and brake less, which also helps to conserve fuel.

These are just a few ways you can improve your gas mileage, and numbers two and three will even cut down on the frequency of which you use your brakes, letting you go longer in between your brake repair service appointments. Check back for part II of this blog for more fuel-saving tips.

Prepping Your Car for Holiday Road Trips, Part II

In part I of this blog we talked about checking your fluids, lights, wipers, and tires before embarking on a road trip. Here are a few more tips from our brakes only mobile service company:

5. Check brake pads: Your brake pads are essential to making sure your car stops properly. If your pads are too thin, you’ll likely hear screeching or squealing. If you need a brake pad replacement, call The Brake Squad at (703) 994-2773 and we’ll come to you!

6. Check the spare wheel: Make sure you’re prepared for a potential tire emergency by ensuring that your spare tire has air in it.

7. Check for leaks: Check under the hood and under your car to ensure there are no leaks. If you see anything that doesn’t look right, have your car looked at by a technician.

8. Clean your car: This may not be essential to the actual function of your car, but it will feel great to start your trip with a nice, clean car!

The holidays are a great time for taking road trips to see family or to take a fun vacation, but you should always make sure your car is ready for the trip! Our brakes only mobile service company can help you prepare for the trip with brake repairs or maintenance.     

Prepping Your Car for Holiday Road Trips, Part I

The holidays are just around the corner, which for many of us means getting into the car and taking a road trip. But before you go, you need to make sure your car is ready for the journey! Here are some tips from our brake repair service company:

1. Check fluids: Motorists often don’t check their fluid levels enough, so make sure to check your coolant, oil, and brake fluid.

2. Check lights: It’s simple to do, but important to make sure all of your vehicle’s lights are working.

3. Check wipers: Make sure your windshield wipers don’t need to be changed. This should be easy to determine based on how well they clear away liquid. Use your windshield washers to spray your windshield and see if they do their job.

4. Check tires: If you’re due for new tires, be sure to get them before your trip to ensure your safety. If you’re not due, check the air pressure and look at your tires for any sign of over-wearing or damage.

There are a few more things you should do to ensure your car is ready for a road trip, so check back for part II of this blog from our brake repair service company.

How to Clean Your Brakes

Close Up of a Man’s Hands Removing a Car Tire | TheBrakeSquad.com

When your brakes start to squeal, your mind immediately goes to the cost of replacing them—but that’s not always necessary. Sometimes the scary noise is caused by brake dust. When that’s the case, a good cleaning can solve your brake issues. While the process does require a bit of work, it’s entirely possible. Keeping your brakes clean can help extend the life of your brakes.

Step One: Raise Your Car

You will need to get under the car, so use a garage hoist to lift up the car. If you don’t have one, you can use jack stands. You’ll need more than one. Do not ever leave the car on the jack; put it on a jack stand, so you don’t risk the car falling on you. If you can raise all four wheels at once, that’s ideal, but if not you will need to repeat the process at all four wheels.

Step Two: Get Your Equipment

Make sure you have appropriate brake cleaner, eye protection, and a container to catch the debris and spray that falls from the brakes as you clean. Make sure you are disposing of the used brake spray according to your local regulations. Brake spray is toxic, so it must be dealt with carefully.

Step Three: Clean the Brakes – Safely

After reading the cleaner’s instructions carefully, spray the hubs, rotors, lining, fasteners, cylinders, springs, and drums. Do not get any on painted surfaces, rubber, or plastic. Use a wire brush to clean the brakes and then either let them air dry or wipe them down with a rag. Severely dirty brakes may need more than one spray down.

If you are still experiencing issues with your brakes, The Brake Squad will come to you for mobile brake repair in Alexandria, VA. Contact us today to schedule a service!

Frequently Asked Questions about Brake System Flushes

Brake Squad Tech Looking Under the Hood of a Car | TheBrakeSquad.com

Over time, your brake fluid can absorb water. Because water and oil don’t mix, this leaves little pockets of water in your brake lines, which is bad news. The brake fluid does not compress, giving you good steady pressure on your brakes, but the water does compress. If you have too much water in your brake lines, your brake pedal will feel soft, and you’ll have to press the brakes much harder to stop or slow your vehicle. When this happens, it’s time for a brake system flush.

What is a brake system flush?

When you call us for a brake flush, the waterlogged brake fluid is flushed out of the brake system. Much like a blood transfusion, new brake fluid is being added to replace the old fluid during the flush.

How often should I get brake flush services done?

Ideally, you should flush the brake fluid in your car either every 2 to 3 years or every 24,000 to 36,000 miles—whichever comes first. The more moisture that your brake fluid absorbs, the less effective your brakes will be, so keep weather conditions in mind as well, as they may shorten the time between flushes.

Where can I get brake system flush services? When you call The Brake Squad, we come to you. We use an electronic tester to determine if you need a brake flush first. Then, our team performs the flush on the spot and takes the old brake fluid to be recycled.

Preparing Your Car for Fall and Winter, Part II

In the first part of this blog we talked about washing your car, checking your wipers, and testing your heater in preparation for fall and winter. Here are a few more tips, including calling us for mobile brakes maintenance:

Tires: Making sure your tires are not worn or damaged is crucial for safe driving on icy or wet roads. Check for tread wear, make sure your tires are properly inflated, and get your tires rotated so that they wear evenly. If you need new tires, now is a good time to get them.

Oil: Before the stress that winter will put on your car, it is wise to make sure your oil is changed. If you go to a mechanic for this, they can also make sure your essential fluids like coolant are topped off.

Brakes: Winter weather brings with it dangerous driving conditions, so it is imperative that your brakes will work properly when the time comes that you need them. Call The Brake Squad for convenient mobile brakes maintenance to make sure you’re ready to safely drive in ice and snow.

Even though the kids are just now heading back to school and the leaves may not have begun to turn yet, it’s not too early to start planning to prepare your vehicle for fall and winter weather. With services that come to you, The Brake Squad will make checking one item off your list convenient and easy!

Preparing Your Car for Fall and Winter, Part I

BMW on Red Fall Leaves Under Trees with Red Leaves | TheBrakeSquad.com

While summer may still be in full effect, it’s not too soon to start planning for preparing your car for fall and winter. Our brakes only mobile service has your brake maintenance needs covered, but there are some other things you should do to prepare your vehicle as well:

Wash your car: This is a great time to give your car a good cleaning. Wash off any bugs or other debris that could hinder visibility, and then give your car a good waxing so that it will be protected from salt, sand, or any other elements you will encounter when winter weather arrives. Clean out the inside of your car while you’re at it too, you may not be motivated to do so once it gets cold outside.

Wipers: Wipers should be replaced every six months to a year, and you definitely want to make sure they’re in good shape before the first snow fall. Old wipers may even end up smearing your window when you use them, making your visibility worse rather than improving it.

Heater: You don’t want to wait until you need your heater to realize that it isn’t working! Test your heater and defroster to make sure they are operating as they should.

There are more steps to take to prepare your car for fall and winter, including calling our brakes only mobile service for routine maintenance. Check back for part II of this blog for more tips!

The Benefits of Using Mobile Brake Repair Services

Mobile Brake Repair Being Done at Apartment Complex | TheBrakeSquad.com

Maybe you’ve never heard of mobile brake repair before or you figured it might be too expensive so you haven’t considered it, so let’s take a look at the benefits of utilizing mobile brake repair from The Brake Squad!

Convenience: Having to wait at a mechanic shop or get a ride while your car is being repaired is annoying and inconvenient. Whether you’re at home or at work, we will come to you to complete your repair, so you can continue your day with minimal interruption.

Affordability: We worked hard to create a service that is affordable, and our low overhead allows us to pass the savings on to you. Additionally, because we only do brakes, you don’t have to worry about someone trying to upsell you for additional, pricey auto services.

Safety: If there is a critical problem with your brakes, the last thing you should be doing is driving your car. Because we come to you, you won’t be risking your safety to drive a car with malfunctioning brakes to an auto shop.

If all of these benefits sound great to you, visit TheBrakeSquad.com to request a free quote! Our mobile brake repair services will help you save time and money and get back on the road safely.

Signs That It’s Time for a Brake Service

The Brake Squad Technician Doing Mobile Brake Work | TheBrakeSquad.com

Brakes are a very critical safety feature in our vehicles, which is why it is important to make sure we are keeping them in good condition. Here are five signs to be aware of that could indicate that it’s time for a brake repair in Alexandria, VA or the surrounding areas:

  1. Squealing: Your brakes have been designed to squeal or screech to alert you that the brake pads are getting low. If you hear this, contact a brake repair specialist right away to prevent the problem from getting worse.
  2. Vibrating: Shaking, vibrating, or other unusual motions from your car when you apply your brakes may indicate warped rotors.
  3. Howling or grinding: If a howling or grinding noise happens when you brake, it’s likely because you have very little or no brake pads left, meaning that metal is grinding on metal.
  4. Soft brake pedal: If you find that you need to push further down on your brake pedal to use your brakes, it could indicate a couple of different issues. Your brake pads could be worn down, or your brake fluid could be low. A brake specialist will diagnose this.
  5. Pulling to one side: If your car pulls to one side when you brake, there is probably something wrong with your brake system. Problems can range from a collapsed brake hose or uneven brake pad wear or even a brake fluid issue, so it is best to see a technician.

Brake issues happen, but the team at The Brake Squad can help you fix them without you having to move your car! Visit TheBrakeSquad.com to learn how our mobile brake repair in Alexandria, VA can help you get back on the road safely.