What Are Brake Pads And Rotors?
Depending on what kind of car you have, it may utilize between 4 - 8 brake pads. When you step on the brake pedal, your car's master cylinder sends fluid under pressure to the brake calipers (which hold the brake pads). The caliper presses the brake pad against the brake rotor, causing friction that slows down the car. During normal usage of the brakes, brake pads wear out and become thinner. If the thickness of brake pads is less than a quarter of an inch, it is time to change the pads. Depending on where you drive, brake pads usually last between 35,000 - 40,000 kilometers. Some vehicles (e.g. BMW’s, Mercedes', etc) are equipped with a low-pad-warning system to notify you when is the right time to have your brake pads replaced. In these situations, the brake sensors will also be replaced as part of the brake pad service.
A rotor is a part of a vehicle's braking system. It is roughly shaped like a flat-bottomed bowl with a wide lip at the top. The design of the rotor allows the heat produced by this process to be evenly dispersed throughout the braking system so it does not overheat.
Common Signs And Symptoms That You Need To Replace Your Brake Pads And Rotors
- Clicking, grinding, squeaking, or screeching noise when you apply the brakes
- Vibration in the steering wheel
- Brake or low brake pad warning light is on
- Brake pedal is lower than normal
- Brake pads appear too thin
- The car is pulling to one side when applying the brakes
How Important Is This Service?
Maintaining the brakes is one of the most important safety features for any vehicle owner and is key to a vehicles upkeep for long term ownership. Unfortunately, brake maintenance is often overlooked by drivers. Maintaining the cars brake system can help to prevent costly repairs in the long run, and can keep the car in the best form to avoid a collision. Furthermore, if this damage is not addressed, it can progress to the point that the brakes are ineffective and might totally fail, putting the vehicle and its occupants in danger.