Northern VA Auto Repair


Brake "Car-thritus"

“Car-thritus” (rhymes with arthritis)

When your vehicle sits unused for a long length of time and suffers from stiffness and deterioration.  Common symptoms include poor engine lubrication, rusty brake rotors & engine components, battery degradation and a possible “non-start” situation.


If you don’t use your brakes for a long period of time, especially during the summer when it’s very humid, a light rust sheen will appear on the brake surface rotor area. 


However, no rust will appear where the brake pad touches the rotor, because it’s protected from the moisture:

The result is a rust sheen on ¾ of the surface of your rotor and a non-rust spot where the brake pad touches the rotor.  On initial take off, you will hear a horrible grinding noise that should dissipate after a few hard brakes or a few miles of driving.   If it continues or gets worst, it’s time to come in for a FREE brake inspection at one of our locations in Alexandria, Fairfax, Chantilly and Merrifield.


Sometimes the rust is so prevalent, when you apply your brakes, you’ll wear away the rust and you’ve also removed enough of the rotor that now you have parallelism on your rotors.  That means that there is a variation in the thickness of the rotor’s surface.   When that thick spot where the pad was and didn’t rust passes by the brake pad, it pushes the pads backwards and you’ll experience a pulsation when you brake that won’t go away.   Call us if you think this is what you’re experiencing, and we can assist you in getting it fixed.

Tips to prevent “Car-thritus” from setting into your brakes:  Start that Engine!

Take your car our for a 20-minute drive to warm up the motor and transmission to its’ ideal operating temperature and engage your brakes several times; especially during high humidity.

  • Helps charge your battery and gets fluids moving.
  • Reduces the chance of rust & erosion in your engine’s components.
  • Will eliminate any rust on your brake rotors.

No Worries!

We’ve got you covered!  Every visit at Craftsman Auto Care starts with a complimentary BioPledgeTMantimicrobial treatment for the driver’s side to protect our customers and our team members.  We will then do a full digital inspection to assess the health of your vehicle so we can make the proper brake recommendations for you based on your driving habits and vehicle health.  Schedule your appointment now or call (833) – CRAFTS1 to talk to any of our teams at our Alexandria, Fairfax, Chantilly or Merrifield locations. 


Auto Care