Three Essential Tips About Brakes

A shiny new combination disk/drum brake rotor being installed on a rear axle, with a jack and jack-stand in the background.

Your brakes are some of the most important pieces of your vehicle, and if you don’t take care of them, you could find yourself in an easily avoidable accident. Over time, your brakes will naturally break down, but there are a few things you can do to safely extend the lifespan of your brakes. If you are hearing any squeaking or squealing when you use your brakes, you need to come in for a brake replacement or a brake repair as soon as possible. If you need a brake service or any other kind of automotive service, stop into one of your local Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers today. Here are three things you need to know about your brakes.

Get To Know Brake Pads

Brake pads are made out of an abrasive material that applies pressure to your brake calipers. The friction caused by this pressure causes your vehicle to efficiently slow to a stop. Over time, this friction will eventually cause your brake pads to wear down, and if you leave them on for too long, the metal backing will become exposed and potentially cause damage to your rotors. You will generally hear a squealing sound once your brake pads have worn down to a critical level. If you hear this noise, or it has been more than 20,000 miles since you last changed your brake pads, you need to change your brake pads immediately. Not only can worn brake pads be dangerous to your brake calipers, but they can reduce your braking capacity by up to 50%, putting you at serious risk on the road.

The Ins & Outs Of Brake Calipers

Your brake calipers are the metal cases that house your brake pads and the internal systems that apply pressure to your brake pads. Brake calipers are connected to the master cylinder through a series of tubes, valves, and hoses that push brake fluid through the system. That brake fluid provides the pressure your calipers need to fire the pistons that control the strength of your brakes. Over time, direct exposure to heat and winter weather can cause your calipers to become rusty, dirty, or can even cause your system to start leaking fluid. These issues can come on much quicker if you do not drive regularly. Make sure that you have your brake calipers changed if you notice any squeaking or grinding, if your ABS warning light comes on, if your car jerks, or bulls when you brake, or if you notice any serious decline in your braking capabilities.

When Is It Time To Replace Your Brakes

Any time you notice any strange noises, pulling from your vehicle, or a serious decline in braking capabilities, you should come in for a brake service as soon as possible. Even if your car brakes seem to be holding up just fine, you should still follow a few simple guidelines when it comes to your brakes. Make sure that you come in for a brake service every 10,000-20,000 miles at least to check your brake pads, as certain materials can break down much faster depending on your driving style. Your brake calipers will generally last much longer, with many calipers lasting up to 100,000 miles on your vehicle.

If you are interested in having your brakes serviced, replaced, or have any other automotive needs, stop into one of your local Dobbs Tire & Auto Centers. Our team of expert and certified service technicians will help you take care of all your automotive needs in one convenient stop.