If you are looking for the premier brake service shop in town we are also known as Drakes Brakes.
You can contact us through this web site or also find us at www.drakesbrakes.com.
We offer the best prices on car brake repairs in Sterling, Ashburn and the greater Northern Virginia area. We can service all types of car brakes and brake issues: European, Asian, domestic, ceramic brake pads, brake squeal, or brake rotor resurface or replacement. Our state of the art brake equipment allows us to do a brake job in half time it takes a normal shop. We also have a deal with our vendors to get the best price on a good quality new ceramic or semi metallic brake pads. We believe in doing a good, honest and fair priced job. We won’t cut corners when it comes to your safety.
Asian and domestic manufacturers use a different style of brakes than European cars. Asian and domestic car brakes come stock with ceramic brake pads that are called adhesion style of brakes. That means that the brake pad material gets deposited into the rotor and (adheres) to itself. European brake pads are Semi metallic and are abrasion style where the brake pad gets its stopping power from rubbing against the rotor. Ceramic brake pads come in different qualities as well. The main difference is how hard the material is pressed together. I brake pad that is a certain thickness and is pressed with 100 tons of force has less material that the same thickness pad that has been pressed with 500 tons of force. Here at Drake Auto located in Sterling, VA near Ashburn, VA we can offer you any quality level you and your budget can require. Next is brake rotors. Have you ever noticed a BMW that has a lot of brake dust on the front wheels. That is because they use semi metallic brake pads from the factory. Our Ceramic brake pads are an upgrade from original European brake pads. Most European cars have great braking action. They can stop very quickly. One of the ways they achieve this is by using a softer rotor material. As a result the rotors ware down almost as fast as the brake pads.
All brake rotors are not created equal. Just as with brake pads, brake rotors come in many different quality levels. The main differences between rotors are weight and interior design. The original engine manufacturer will design a certain weight brake rotor so it has enough metal mass to absorb and dissipate heat properly for the weight of the vehicle and possible tow capacity as well. Aftermarket manufacturers will often make a lighter rotor to save money. This is most often seen on the internet with a fantastic price compared to original brake rotors. The brake rotor is also made by joining two pieces of metal together. The area they are joined with can be different shapes. If the shape is a more intricate design there will be more metal inside the rotor to give it strength as well as dissipate heat better. This will help prevent rotor warping and soft brake pedal from brake fade due to heat. Here at Drake Auto located in Sterling, VA we use only brake rotors that meet or exceed original manufacturers specifications. All brake rotors are not created equal. They can be heavier or light duty. Generally a brake rotor with more mass will last longer and can be turned on a lathe more times to renew the braking surface that the brake pads touch. Many manufacturers are making rotors just above throwaway specifications, new from the dealer. Unfortunately, that means many cars rotors cannot be turned even once. When we replace those rotors they must be to factory specs as well, leaving us with the same problem. (Disposable rotors.)
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads are held together by tiny metal fibers. If a pad was pure ceramic it would fall apart. Ceramic brakes also emit less black brake dust. They actually grip less than semi metallic pads. That is one of the reasons many European cars don’t use them stock from the dealer. I often have people say to me do you use dealer brake pads? My answer is no since the dealer brake pads on European cars like BMW are often semi metallic ours are an upgrade. Most people would rather have less dust and a barely noticeably longer stopping distance. Don’t get me wrong. If your intention is to go to the race track, we can also install custom pads and rotors.
Car brake pads touch the rotors causing friction and heat. This heat causes the brake pad to release vapors. If you have ever seen a good quality brake pad you may have noticed a slot down the middle. That is to help release the vapors that the pad emits. With enough heat the vapors can build up between the pad and rotor and cause brake fade which is when you press on the pedal but the pad is actually floating on the rotor not allowing the friction needed for stopping the car.
There are many factors in brake squeal. Usually there is a pattern on the rotor surface and the brake pad rubs on it making a harmonic squealing sound. It can also be caused by the back side of the pad rubbing on the brake caliper piston. This can be cured by installing a good quality brake pad with a backing plate or a coated surface on it. One of the cures is also to use a special brake pad glue to secure the pad to the caliper. There are also treatments for the surface of the brake pad where you heat the surface of the pad to open the pores and then apply the anti-squeal which soaks into the pad material.
For the last 15 years, Drake Auto has been performing quality auto repairs and stocking a competitively priced selection of tires. Since our humble beginnings, we have grown to acquire a loyal base of returning customers. We have done this through quality workmanship and friendly service. We look forward to building equally rewarding relationships with new customers.
Originally known as ‘The Auto Shop’, Drake Auto was founded by the Epstein
family in 2002 and has been independently owned in Sterling, VA since. With the owners on site, you can rest assured your vehicle will be repaired correctly. We are proud members of the Independent Automobile Technicians Network as well as local car clubs. Most of our customers are referrals and all work is guaranteed to be done to your satisfaction.
Fixing cars is not rocket science. Just fix what you say you are going to fix for the price quoted and you have the recipe for success and repeat business. We look forward to seeing you at the shop.