Brake Repair in St. Louis, MOYou step on the brakes and your car comes to a stop. It’s something we do thousands of times every year and we just take it for granted…up to the point where something goes wrong.
Your disc brakes aren’t unlike the hand brakes on a bicycle. The wheels are bolted to smooth steel rotors, called discs, and a heavy caliper encloses part of the rotor like a clamp. The caliper holds the brake pads, and when you step on the brake pedal hydraulic pressure forces the pads against the rotor, dragging the vehicle to a halt via friction.
The friction material of the brake pads is a ceramic or semi-metallic compound that may take as many as 60,000 miles to wear down. With wear that’s so gradual, it can be hard to know when it’s time for brake service. Here are some sure signs, though:
- Strong pull to one side while braking
- Vibration or pulsation through the brake pedal while braking
- Longer stopping distances
- Longer brake pedal travel before brakes engage
- One or more wheels tends to lock up and skid while braking
- Brake pedal feels “soft” or “spongy” underfoot
- Brake pedal slowly goes to floor while holding the vehicle stopped and in gear
- Loud squeal, groan or metallic grinding noise while braking
Of all these, the grinding noise is by far the worst. It means that your brake pads’ friction material has worn to a point where the metal backing plates of the pads are exposed. All your braking effectiveness is coming from metal/metal contact, and the metal plates are quickly digging grooves into your rotors. Very dangerous!
Get Brake Service & Repairs at Master Auto Repair of Webster Grove!
Brakes should be inspected for wear at least twice a year, and the pads should be replaced at a minimum thickness of ¼”. At Master Auto and Tire, our trained and experienced ASE-certified techs can take on any brake issues you might have, regardless of what you drive. Don’t take chances with your own safety – make an appointment with us at Master Auto and Tire for brake maintenance or repair!