Car brakes are some of the most important parts on your vehicle. Your brakes are the only part put on your car specifically designed to slow you down and stop you. If your brakes aren’t maintained and repaired when needed you could end up endangering yourself and others. The last thing you want is the inability to slow down or stop while on the road.
How Do My Car Brakes Work?
Time for a physics lesson. When your foot pushes on the brake pedal, it causes your brake pads to be pushed up against both sides of the brake rotor, creating a friction force. This action is converting the kinetic energy of the rotating brake caliper to heat energy. The brake rotor is attached to the wheel which allows the wheel to slow down when the rotor slows down. This happens every time you slow down or stop. Keeping all of this in working order requires proper automotive expertise to examine, maintain, and repair your cars brake system.
When Should I Replace My Brakes?
Even though your brakes seem fine, your brakes could still be near need for repair or replacement. It is not only smart, but highly recommended that your brake system, along with all your other car systems, are inspected according to your vehicles manual, or when you take you car in for a maintenance service, such as an oil change. It’s also important to pay attention to signs that your brakes are wearing out or need to be replaced.
Most car brakes today are made with a built in alert system for notifying the driver when they need to be replaced. If you hear constant brake squealing it is likely that your brake pads need to be replaced.
- Constant brake squealing. A good indicator that its time to change you cars brakes. Best way to find out is take it in to your local auto shop and have the pros take a look. AT JNJ Auto, we offer free brake inspections….so bring your car in!
- Rust on the rotors. Check your brake rotors and see if rust has formed on the rotor. Minor rust on the rotor is normal and will be removed after a couple of stops, but serious rust and pitting can be harmful– not just for the wear and life of your brake pad but can also impact stopping distance.
- Leaking Brake Fluid. Make sure you are not leaking brake fluid. Brake fluid helps push the pads up against the rotors, and since this fluid is very corrosive it can corrode the steel brake hoses. When it leaks it can spread to other metal components of the car, corroding them. To top it off brake fluid is very toxic, so its best to keep this system maintained to not harm your car or the environment.
- Vibration when you brake. If there is a vibration when you brake, it is most likely a sign of warped rotors, if it is not the anti-lock brake system (aka ABS in your car’s dashboard).
- Car pulls to one side. If your car pulls to one side when you brake, it could be a brake problem, or a problem with your suspension or tires. Be safe and bring it in to your mechanic for a look.
- Brake pad depth. You can measure the depth of your brake pads with a ruler if your wheels allow for it. You might consider replacing your brakes if your pad depth is around 3mm or less, or 1/4 inch thick or less.
Your cars brakes are a literal lifesaver in modern transportation and it is necessary to keep them in top working order. If you are concerned about the condition of your brake system come and “stop” on by JNJ Auto Services in Phoenix, AZ for all forms of auto care, including brake service and replacement. Feel free to give us a call for any additional info. 623-930-7936.