When should you replace the brakes on your used car?

Replace your brakes
Replace your brakes

Brakes are very important parts of a car. As your brakes begin to get old, they will begin to show some apparent signs that they require servicing. It is important that you pay crucial attention to these signs, in order to prevent any dangerous accident. Some of these warning signs include the appearance of the brake light on the dashboard of your car, a grinding or squeaking sound as you begin to apply the brakes, or the observation that your car takes an abnormally long time to come to a halt. As soon as you begin to observe these signs, it is important that you take your car to your local mechanic to check your faulty braking system.

There are several brake parts compromising your used cars brake system including but not limited to the pads, rotors, calipers, etc. It is important that you understand how these parts function so that you can easily figure out any fault within them and know why you should replace them when necessary.

The friction that is required for stopping and slowing your vehicle is provided by the brake pads. There should be no high-pitched screeching noise whenever you apply your brakes. When this happens regularly, the indicator is giving you a loud warning that you should examine or replace your brake pads. Also, there shouldn’t be less than ¼ inch of pad generally; otherwise you may need to replace your brake pads. This shows that your brake pads have worn below the quarter of an inch and therefore should be replaced.

The brake rotor is important another part of the braking system. At the top, it has a wide lip and its shape is similar to a flat-bottomed bowl. Whenever the brake is applied, the pads and calipers press against the rotors’ sides, thus leading to friction that stops the vehicle. It is important to examine and replace your brake pads regularly in order to prolong the brake rotors’ life. It is easier to know when to replace brake pads than brake rotors. This is because brake pads clearly expose how much left pad and have obvious warning indicators which brake rotors don’t have. However, an important sign to look out for when your rotors need replacement is glaring cracks. Although there are cases in which small hairline cracks may be normal, it is safe to replace the rotors since you may not easily be able to distinguish between the normal and abnormal cracks. Other important signs you need to look out for are visible grooves, heat spots, corrosive rusts, and obvious lip. The obvious lip is a sign that the rotor has worn unevenly or is close to its wear limit, which is usually reached at about 1mm.

Just like the brake rotors and pad, the calipers are also important parts of the braking system. It squeezes the brake pads against the rotors’ surface which causes the vehicle to slow or stop. The calipers create friction that slows the vehicle’s wheel. It is advisable to replace your calipers when there are fluid leaks or uneven braking. There are two types of calipers which are the Fixed Calipers (which normally possess several pistons) and the Floating Calipers (which possess one or more pistons). If there is a damage or crack to the calipers, they should be replaced. When the calipers’ bleeder screw has broken off or is frozen, it should be replaced. It is advisable to replace the calipers than to rebuild them in order to have optimum performance.

Generally, you should consistently observe any faults in your braking system by looking and listening. Always look out for warning signs like pulling, growling or grinding, vibration, reduced responsiveness or fading, etc. Endeavor to visit your local mechanic regularly in order to check your braking system and avoid accidents.