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Driving in Alberta during the winter can be an adventure. It can also be really hard on your vehicle, especially your brakes. There are all sorts of pitfalls you might come across — ice, sleet, slush, and snowdrifts, to name a few. With so many tricky surfaces to deal with, making sure your brakes work is the most important thing you can do.

There are certain factors that make winter especially tough on your brakes…

Frozen Water and Snow

Snow and water can build up in your brake pads and rotors. When the temperature drops below zero, that water can actually freeze inside your brakes, making them grind and squeal the next day. Eventually, once your brakes start warming up the water will melt and fix the issue. However, this back-and-forth creates a lot of wear-and-tear on your brakes.

Salt: Hate To Love It

Many cities including Edmonton put salt on the road in order to melt the ice. While this is great because it helps your tires gain more traction, it also reaks havoc on the metal and rubber pieces of your vehicle. It also speeds up vehicle rusting, especially the undercarriage and parts around your tires.

One way to minimize salt damage to your brakes is to wash your vehicle underneath. Doing that every few weeks will lengthen the lifespan of your brakes.

Rust Build-Up

Rust build-up on your brakes is inevitable, especially if you live in Alberta where rough winters are common. That rust can actually be the culprit of a lot of the squeaking noises you hear when it comes to your brakes. If you park your vehicle outside at night, moisture collects on the surface of your brake rotors. In the morning, you can feel that translated into your braking. While this isn’t necessarily bad in the moment, it can cause permanent damage over time.

How To Detect Potential Brake Issues

Sometimes just listening to your vehicle can make all the difference. When you get a chance, crack your window and listen when you brake.

IF you hear a squealing or squeaking noise, it usually is the first sign something is wrong. Pay attention and get your Toyota in to see one of our trained factory technicians right away. By getting your vehicle in early, you avoid bigger repairs down the road — saving yourself time and money.

IF you hear a grinding or growling sound, it could mean a much more serious issue. Typically, that type of noise means the brake pads are completely worn down and have begun grinding into the rotor. Not only is it bad for your vehicle and brakes (because there is no material left), it is very unsafe. Make an appointment immediately!

Remember…

If you hear a grinding or buzzing noise when you slam on your brakes, there’s a chance it could be your anti-lock brake system (ABS) — no need to panic. That is perfectly normal. However, if the brakes are squeaking or grinding as your drive, that signals more serious brake issues.

Edmonton Brake Checks

Are your brakes making a weird noise? Maybe you just want to make sure everything is in perfect working order before the next snow dump. Whatever the case, our highly-skilled and experienced service team is here to assist you with all your brake needs.

We are one of the busiest Toyota service departments in Edmonton — we pride ourselves on our ability to keep our guests satisfied and safe and keep their Toyotas running optimally for years to come. With customers across Alberta, including Spruce Grove, St. Albert and beyond, let us show you the Mayfield Toyota way. Book a service appointment online today!

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