Time to Care for Your Automotive Brake Pads & Rotors
The brake system on your vehicle is responsible for ensuring you stop before an accident occurs. If brake service is required, it’s important to have a qualified team look at it to ensure your on-road safety. At Spitzer Toyota, our certified technicians have the experience to perform every type of auto repair, from regular brake service to replacing brake calipers. Schedule your service appointment in Monroeville, PA.
How Do Brakes Work?
Most cars today have four-wheel disc brakes, although some older models still include drum brakes. The disc system includes several parts needed to slow or stop the wheels’ movement. When your foot pushes down the brake pedal, the force is amplified with the help of a brake booster. This force moves a piston in the master cylinder where it squeezes hydraulic fluid into the system.
Brake fluid moves across the entire system with the help of hoses and lines. This fluid puts pressure on the brakes, causing the caliper pistons to push the pads against the rotors. As the brake pads touch the rotors and provide force, the wheels slow down and stop.
When you lift your foot off of the brake pedal, everything is released and the hydraulic pressure returns to normal. Brake pads include a variety of friction materials that push into the rotor. While some rely on a semi-metallic friction surface, you may choose to upgrade the performance with ceramic brake pads instead.
What are the Signs of Bad Brakes?
How do you know when your car needs a brake job? The first sign might be a reduction in stopping power. As the brake pads start to wear, there is less friction material left behind. Without the right amount of friction, it becomes more difficult to stop the wheels from moving.
Additionally, you might start to notice changes with the brake pedal. It could start to feel spongy and soft. On the other hand, if the pedal becomes hard, there could be an issue with the brake booster, which must also be addressed immediately.
As the brakes are applied, it’s necessary for them to dissipate heat properly. However, they can’t do this if they are worn. That’s why you will start to notice strange sounds when the brakes are going bad. At first, it might just sound like a screeching noise, but eventually it becomes a grinding sound as metal makes contact with the brake rotors.
Finally, if you notice that the car is pulling to one side or the other when braking, your problem could be faulty brake calipers. All of these symptoms demand prompt attention to ensure your on-road safety.
What are Brake Rotors & How Long Do They Last?
Brake rotors are the discs that connect to each wheel. They rotate in conjunction with the wheels. When the brake calipers squeeze the pads together, the contact with the rotor creates friction. This friction is what slows down the wheel movement and stops the vehicle.
When the time comes for brake service, it’s important to know that not all rotors are created equally. Most passenger vehicles come with Blank & Smooth brake rotors, but that’s not the only option.
Your car could also have Drilled rotors, which feature drilled holes on the metal surface. It’s also possible to have Slotted rotors with long lines on the metal surface, or to use the Drilled & Slotted design, which is a mixture of both, perfect for high-performance vehicles.
Most brake rotors are designed to last about 70,000 miles, but should be regularly inspected for uneven wear. Over time, the rotors become misshapen, requiring them to be turned and resurfaced. However, once this has been done a few times, it might be necessary to have the rotors replaced. Unlike brake pads, you don’t need to replace the rotors in pairs unless they are both worn.
What is Brake Fluid & Why is a Flush Necessary?
Hydraulic brake fluid is needed to transmit the force that occurs when you push the brake pedal down. The master cylinder pushes the brake fluid through the lines to reach the brakes at all four wheels. With a disc brake system, the plunger in the master cylinder is responsible for pushing the pressurized fluid into the caliper pistons.
Over time, the fluid breaks down and becomes old. Once this occurs, it is no longer as effective at performing its job. With a brake fluid flush, all of the contaminated fluid is drained out of the system and replaced with new fluid. It’s recommended that the brake fluid gets flushed every 30,000 miles or two years, depending on your driving habits.
By flushing the fluid as part of your regular brake service, you ensure that you have the stopping power needed to remain safe.
Why Spitzer Toyota for Brake Service?
When you visit Spitzer Toyota, we perform a complete brake inspection to ensure everything is operating as it should. Our certified technicians understand all of the brake parts and will ensure that your vehicle is safe to drive.
Whether you are noticing squealing sounds when you push on the pedal or you are seeing an abundance of brake dust on the wheels, it’s always important to have a professional take a look. From providing replacement brake pads to ensuring the rotors are in optimal condition, we can do it all. Schedule your brake service today in Monroeville, PA