What is the best way to avoid costly brake repairs? By being proactive and preventing them! Keeping your brakes in great shape is important for both your safety and your wallet. If you want to better understand brake maintenance, you should learn how the five major brake components (anti-lock braking system, master cylinder, brake pads, calipers and rotors) work together and how wear and tear might cause malfunction. With this information, you can prevent expensive repairs and mishaps.
Hydraulic System Maintenance
The modern vehicle’s brake system is more complex than ever. With the added benefits of anti-lock braking so could the potential of added costs, if the system is not properly maintained. Brake systems function hydraulically, meaning the pressure your foot exerts on the brake pedal is transferred to the actual brakes with fluid. The master cylinder is the origin of the process, which is why it’s very important that this component is working properly. The master cylinder ensures you’re able to exert enough power to utilize the brakes. During an inspection, your car repair professional will check the master cylinder and brake fluid for functionality.
Pad, Caliper and Rotor Maintenance
Calipers are part of the hydraulic system. The pad wears against the rotor. When you press the brake pedal, the master cylinder directs fluid to squeeze the brake calipers, causing the brake pads to clamp onto the rotors. Both the calipers and brake pads should be checked for signs of wear and tear to ensure the rotors are not damaged. Rough or uneven rotors can be an especially costly replacement, so it’s important to replace worn pads and calipers regularly.
Routine Check-Ups Are a Must!
Generally, you should inspect your brake pads every 12,000 miles and check your brake fluid with every oil change. Manufacturers recommend replacing brake fluid every 30,000 miles to help extend the life of the hydraulic system. Brake pads and shoes typically have a life span of 25,000 – 50,000 miles, depending on driving conditions and vehicle usage. If you drive more or less than the average driver, you may need to replace your brake pads and fluid more or less frequently.
Signs You Need an Inspection
Between checkups, your car can still potentially develop brake issues, so it’s important to know the signs indicating the need for immediate care. If you experience any of the following, have your brakes checked right away:
- Brakes screech when engaged
- Car veers when braking
- Pedal engages too low
- Pedal requires extreme pressure
- Brakes are too sensitive
- Pedal vibrates or pulses
- Dashboard brake light is on
At Sun Devil Auto, we offer a lifetime warranty on our brakes for any make and model. By being proactive and taking advantage of one of our free inspections, you are likely to avoid spending a large amount of money later, on brake repairs that could have been prevented. We’ll identify potential problems early to ensure your vehicle is completely safe for regular, everyday use. Give us a call today to schedule your free inspection.