BRAKING SYSTEM SERVICES
Signs it’s Time To Service Your Brakes
Squeaking or Squealing Coming From Brakes
Grinding Sound When Braking
Vibration When Braking
Taking Longer To Stop
Brake Pad Indicator Light Comes On
Your Brake Pads Appear To Be Thin
Major Brake System Repairs offered by XLR8
- Brake Pad & Rotor Replacement
- Brake System Fluid Flush
- Brake Line Replacement
- Brake System Operation Diagnostics
- Performance Brake Pad & Rotor Upgrades
- Complete Brake System Overhauls
A BIT ABOUT YOUR BRAKING SYSTEM
The lifespan of your brakes is just like your vehicle’s gas mileage: it all depends on driving habits, conditions, and how aggressively you drive. When you press down on the brake pedal, the brake pad presses against the rotor. When these two surfaces meet, it creates friction, and this slows down the vehicle. Each time these surfaces contact one another, material dissipates, and after enough contact, they will require a replacement. Using overly worn brake pads, rotors, or fluid can become a safety concern and even fatal if left unaddressed.
Since there is no set maintenance schedule for replacing brake pads, it is essential to understand the feedback you are getting from your vehicle. Understanding this will help keep you (and those around you) safe. Your brake pads can always be measured to be sure there is material left on them, but this can be difficult without the proper tools or space.
HOW DO I KNOW WHEN IT’S TIME?
Most cars have some form of a wear indicator built into the brake pads to help let you know when it is time for maintenance. Whether that indicator is mechanical or electric will depend on your vehicle. Mechanical wear sensors create a squealing noise as the pad comes in contact with the rotor. This noise is from a piece of metal inside the pads that scrapes against the rotor.
Electronic wear sensors will result in a service light or warning on your dash, and typically come on when there are 3mms left of the brake pad. Since 3mm is not even as thick as two quarters, it is crucial to address this reminder as it comes up
Regardless as to how your car lets you know it is time to change your brakes, make sure you change them!
LISTEN TO YOUR VEHICLE
Wear sensors do not come on every vehicle or every brake pad. It is important to stay vigilant and listen for things like squealing, squeaking, and metal grinding. While some noises can be relieved by cleaning the brake systems components, continued noises are typically signs of wear.
Other and less common signs of wear are pedal pulsations under light to moderate braking. While the pulsation could be a sign of warped rotors, this is not overly common. The amount of heat required to warp them is tremendous. So tremendous that it often requires a defect in the metal.
The pulsations you feel from your pedal are commonly pad deposits or inconsistencies created in the rotor from uneven wear. When brake pads made for regular road use get exceptionally hot from higher-speed braking, or from applying the brakes for a prolonged period, the pad material providing the “bite” will become too soft and wipe the pad material on the rotor. If this happens, the brake pads won’t properly bite the metal rotor when the brakes are applied. This causes decreased performance, and even vibrations if build up becomes severe enough.
Although stopping distances get gradually longer over time, you can use these as an indicator of your systems life as well. Paying attention to your stopping distances by using consistent landmarks on your daily commute is a decent gauge as long as your pedal application is consistent!
NOTICING SOME OF THE ABOVE?
If you hear squealing, grinding, or have a light on the dash, contact us today to set up your appointment! We use top quality brands and offer the best pricing possible to help keep you safe.