Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Auto Brake Replacement: Tips and Common Practices

Auto Brake Replacement: Tips and Common Practices - Knowing when you need a brake replacement is not only crucial to your safety but also to the overall value of your car. Practicing routine maintenance on your car or bringing it to professionals who can diagnose and repair any automotive problem is important all year long but particularly in the winter months when road conditions deteriorate. Your brake rotors and brake pads provide the necessary force to slow and stop your vehicle, hence why brake replacement is extremely important.

How Do I Know if my Brakes Need to be Replaced?

There are several signs that your brakes rotors or brake pads need to be replaced or need service. If you feel a pulse on your brake pedal, vibration in the steering wheel or hear a clanking, thumping or grinding noise when pressure is applied to the pedal, it may be time to bring your car in for service. Another sign of wear on brakes is if they grab slightly which will cause one of the wheels to stop short and skid.

Will There be Signs of Wear on my Brakes?

Under normal circumstances, brake rotors should appear and feel very smooth. If you can see or touch grooves on the rotor, it is time to replace them. Be wary of brake pads that are completely worn out - if this occurs, there will be metal on metal contact, which can damage the rotor immensely.

Can I Check my Brakes at Home?

Yes, if you wish to check your brakes and brake pads before bringing your car to your local automotive professional, there are a few things to look for. The first test is to check for pulsation. Simply apply slight pressure to your brakes as you are traveling at about 30 mph. If all is normal, pressing the brake should feel smooth and there should be no pulsation. If you do feel something out of the ordinary, your rotors may be warped and need to be replaced. Another test is to wait for your car and engine to cool completely. Then remove your front wheel and use a tape measure to check to pad thickness. If the pad is down to 1/8 inch thick, bring your car in to have the brakes serviced.

Before the cold and ice on the roads set in, be sure to assess your own brakes and be weary of any noise or vibration that feels out of the norm. If you think that your car is in need of a brake replacement, trust your vehicle care to your local auto repair shop where the professionals can check your brakes, rotors and pads to make sure that your car is running (and stopping) smoothly and safely.

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