Thursday, September 6, 2012

Shop Talk With Jim August: When is it time to change my brakes?

Shop Talk With Jim

August: When is it time to change my brakes?
There are many signs that will tell a driver when it's time to change their brakes. At times even though we hear and feel the signs we wait. This can cost you hundreds, if not thousands of extra dollars in repair when all you needed was a simple brake job.
How to tell when it's time for new brakes:
  •  One way to determine if it's time to change your brake pads is too look at the fluid level in the master cylinder on your vehicle. If you are unsure of where you master cylinder is located please refer to your owner's manual. When the fluid is low that means the piston that depresses the caliper (the thing that holds your brake pads)  is using a lot of your brake fluid to depress the pad to your rotor (the piece is attached to the axle)  to stop the vehicle. This is one way to determine if its time, keep in mind low master cylinder fluid may indicate more than just one issue.
  • Another sign is squeaking while you are driving, if you turn the radio down and listen closely you can hear a squeal coming from your brakes that means it's time to see your service advisor. That doesn't mean that the brakes are gone it is just an indicator that it is installed on the brakes that lets you know it's time to have them looked at and possibly replaced.
  • If you hear grinding while using your brakes your should immediately go to your service provider. At this time you have little to no brake pads left and you are grinding parts together that shouldn't be touching each other. This is where your cost of repair escalates because the lack of a quality pad separating the caliper from the rotor will cause those parts to become damaged and will result in them needing to be replaced.
 Old Rotors   
New Rotors

Like we have said in other Shop Talk's being aware of your vehicle is very important and brakes are no exception. Knowing the signs can save you hundreds and possibly thousands of dollars in repair. Make sure that if you are having these issues that you go get your vehicle checked out at your local service department before the issue escalates.

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