How to check your brakes 

Have you Checked your Car’s Brakes and Pads? I have…….

Proper brakes and pads can not only damage your vehicle but could also be critical for your safety as a driver or your passengers.  Your brakes are what enable you to stop. If you cannot stop your car it could be very dangerous. It’s very easy to overlook the maintenance of your cars brakes. So here is what you can do. These simple steps can help save a life!!

 

When to check your Brakes- Every vehicle is different and everyone drives in different areas. For instance one may drive in urban areas and use their brakes more often than one who drives on rural roads due to starting and stopping of city traffic. Normally 6 months or 10,000 miles would be a good time to check them or you may choose to have your tires rotated by a professional technician and at that time they can check your brakes and pads.

 

Jack up your vehicle and remove a front wheel. (Use blocks for safety)

Look at the brake disc ( also called a rotor) Do not attempt to remove it. 

The brake caliper has to be removed before you can remove a brake disc, and the good news is that there’s no need to do so. If you’re working alone, just check the visible part of the disc for heavy rust, scoring, and uneven wear. Rust generally is harmless unless the vehicle has been standing idle for a long time and the rust has really built up. If your disc is badly scored or worn unevenly, have a professional determine whether it can be reground or needs to be replaced.

 

Inspect your brake caliper (the component blocking your view of the entire brake disc).

Be careful. If the vehicle has been driven recently, the caliper will be hot. If it’s cool to the touch, grasp it and gently shake it to make sure that it isn’t loosely mounted and its mounting hardware isn’t worn.

Peek through the inspection hole in the dust shield on the caliper and look at the brake pads inside.

If the linings on the brake pads look much thinner than the new ones you saw at the supply store or dealership parts department, or if they are less than 1/4 of an inch, they probably have to be replaced. If the linings have worn to the metal pads, the disc probably has to be reground or replaced as well.

Replace your wheel, lug nuts, and hubcap, and lower the vehicle to the ground.

If the disc and pads seem to be in good condition and your brake pedal doesn’t flutter when you step on it, you don’t need to do anything else.

Always Remember –Relining, caliper maintenance, and disc grinding should be left to a professional unless you do the job under supervision at an auto class.