Five Reasons You Need to Check Your Brake System
In order to drive safely, you depend on a number of different parts of your car to be in good condition. And while your engine and your tires are important in their own right, your brakes are arguably the most important system you have. Without your brakes, you’d have no way of stopping your car beyond running it into something, which is a good way to not only damage your vehicle but injure yourself or someone else. Because you depend on your brakes so much, you need to check them regularly to see about their condition. Here are a few reasons why this simple inspection is a good idea.
Possible Rotor Damage
If you have a modern car, odds are you probably have what are called “disc brakes” on all four wheels. These types of brakes are composed of three primary pieces: calipers which push pads up against the surface of a rotor, creating friction which eventually brings your car to a stop. Eventually, because the pads and rotors rub against each other, both will wear out. While your rotors will generally last much longer (being composed of hardened metal as opposed to the ceramic used in pads), completely worn-out pads can cause greater damage to your rotors, possibly putting huge gashes or imperfections into the surface of the rotor as well.
While your rotors can normally be “re-surfaced,” or machined down to smooth out any of these gashes or other imperfections that may have been done, worn pads may necessitate that you completely replace your rotors, which only adds to the cost of your brake replacement, as well as increases the required labor. If you want to keep your repair and brake replacement costs down, check your pads periodically and make sure you’re replacing them before they wear too thin and cause damage to your rotors.
The calipers are the parts of your brakes that use cylinders to push your brake pads up against the rotors, creating the friction that brings your car to a stop. Sometimes the calipers stick which restrict the piston from moving the pad forward as it wears down. This will cause a loss of braking on one or more of the wheels. In addition, calipers and hoses can leak brake fluid. A loss of fluid will limit the ability of the caliper to move the pads forward causing a very dangerous situation.
Are your brakes starting to emit a loud, high-pitched squeal whenever you press the pedal? What about a strange, loud, vibrating sound that seems to slow down with your car? You could also hear a painful grinding noise that sounds like metal rubbing against metal. If your brake pads are too low, these sounds could become a painful reality for your car.
However, if your car is emitting any of these sounds when you press the brake, then this is a tell-tale warning that you need to have your brakes serviced. If you’re hearing squealing or vibrating, then you may simply need new pads or some minor rotor repair. Any serious grinding, however, is a sign that your brakes are worn out well beyond their useful life and you could be damaging your rotors with continued use, as well as risk your brakes failing completely.
Loss of Vehicle Control
Have you ever been driving along, hit the brakes, and then your car seemed to suddenly develop a mind of its own and start to swerve to one direction? This is usually a sign that one side of your brakes has caliper issues and is in need of replacement. This sudden swerving is also a huge safety risk—even if you know it’s coming, having to hit the brakes while at high speeds could cause unpredictable behaviors, which could even cause you to lose control, spin out, or even crash into another motorist or another obstacle, causing injury and immense repair bills.
Brake failure is the worst thing that could happen when you fail to care for your brakes system. When your brakes fail, you’ll have nothing to stop your car other than an emergency brake, and that means you could be at risk for a dangerous crash. While total brake failure is rare, it’s not worth the risk; make sure you get your brakes checked with every tire rotation you receive, and replace your pads when the time comes to ensure you have plenty of stopping power available to you at all times.
Whether you simply need your brakes checked or a full brake pad and rotor replacement service, trust the Cypress auto repair experts at Christian Brothers Automotive Grant Road. Brake inspections are free every day at 13333 Grant Rd, Cypress Texas 77429 Contact us today by dialing (281) 305-0877 to request an appointment.