Automotive service professionals know that regular inspections are the best path to keeping vehicles running safely, and to avoiding the sticker shock of major, unexpected repairs.
Recent events at Indie Garage reader Shawn Biss’ Shawn’s Auto Service in Smithville, Ont., brings this reality into sharp focus:
“This came from a family with five cars. Funny story. The dad’s Subaru was in for ball joints one day. That night he had to drive in the daughter’s car. He heard the noise and brought the car in the next day. As far as I know, her only complaint was the parking brake light was always on (obviously due to low brake fluid).”
Clearly in this example the brake caliper’s cylinder had been riding on the brake rotor for some time, which means that that the brake pad, including the backing plate, had also been gone for some time. A routine inspection done at the right time could have avoided this situation from developing to this stage.
“The moral of the story is what I tell people all the time: I understand if you can’t always make it in for an oil change. Going to a quick lube is better than no service at all. But it’s always a good idea to bring it in once in a while so we can give them a heads up on what’s going to be needed in the future! I don’t see her vehicle as often. “
Aside from the obvious safety issue of having a brake system in such poor condition, the damage added hundreds to the bill; something that could have been avoided had the car been seen more regularly.