Putting A Stop To Costly Brake Repairs
As you may know, here at InTechgrity Automotive Excellence, we are all about Automotive Fitness. We know that staying in shape is easier than getting into shape. Your brake system is a great example of why the Automotive Fitness program is so valuable.
Your brake system is a hydraulic system that uses fluid to press your brake pads into action to stop your car. And Stopping your car is a pretty important thing.
There are five key areas to your brake system:
- The master cylinder, which holds the hydraulic fluid, and distributes the fluid through the system when you push the brake pedal.
- The lines that carry the fluid through the system.
- The calipers that press and release your brakes as you push and release your brake pedal.
- The pads that are pressed in and released by the calipers.
- And the rotor (disc brakes) and drums that your pads press against to stop your vehicle.
The pads and rotors (or drums) are wear items.
All that friction wears out your pads first. If you don’t check your pads regularly, even new pads, you run the risk of accelerating the wear on the much more expensive rotors and drums. If the rotors and drums wear down, you can damage non-wear portions of your brake system, greatly increasing the cost of repairs.
Most folks these days have disc brakes so we will use disc brakes in this example. If we catch the pad wear before they are worn out, you might have a break job total cost of $200. (prices vary by vehicle, if you have a Porsche or a heavy-duty pickup, the cost will be higher. Will just use this for an easy example.)
If you don’t catch the pads and they wear to the back plate of the pad, which is made of a much harder material than the pads, the back plate will cut into your rotors, and those rotors will need to be replaced along with the pads. The rotors would run you about $200, but you will also have to do the pads for the $200, so your total repair is $400. That is twice the cost of just the pads, and you would have been driving an unsafe vehicle that entire time.
If the rotors get trashed (and we have seen some really trashed rotors) there is often damage to the calipers. The cost for the repair of the calipers will likely run about $400, but you will have to do the rotors ($200) and the pads ($200) as well, for a total of $800 or four times the cost of doing just the pads.
If we had inspected the pads with every oil change, we would have caught the need for the pads, and saved you $600. We would also have kept you, and everyone driving with you or around you, SAFE.
Indications of Brake wear or damage:
- Black powder on the wheels (pads may be down to the backing plate)
- Squeaking, grinding, or other noises (debris caught in the pads, worn pads, worn rotors, or worn calipers)
- Pulling when braking (brakes not adjusted correctly, sticking caliper, dirty brake fluid)
- Pulling when driving (brakes not adjusted correctly, sticking caliper, dirty brake fluid)
Come in and check out how we can save you money, keep you safe, and improve the value of your vehicles(s).