Brake Maintenance 101

Most car owners know the importance of vehicle maintenance. When you own a car, you need to schedule several types of care to keep your vehicle working efficiently. This includes engine maintenance, brakes maintenance, and tire maintenance. Engine maintenance involves changing your oil and ensuring your engine is working at its optimal performance. Tire maintenance ensures your tires maintain the appropriate pressure to keep your vehicle safe on the road.


So, what about brake maintenance? When you’re driving, you want to make sure your vehicle can stop when you need it to. Since you rely on your brakes to stop your heavy vehicle, sometimes when traveling at a high rate of speed, you need to maintain them. Keeping your car’s brakes and braking system in good working order is critical for the safety of your vehicle. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about brake maintenance.


Signs it’s Time for Brake Maintenance


If you detect any of the following issues, you should schedule your brake service right away:


  • The brake pads make a chirping, screaming, squeaking, or grinding sound as you stop.
  • When braking, your car pulls to one side.
  • Your brake light is illuminated on your dashboard.
  • Your vehicle doesn’t seem to stop effectively when the brakes are applied.


Break Maintenance Tips


Here are four tips for keeping your brakes in good working order so you can stay safe on the road:


1.    Flush Brake Fluid


When you press down on your brake pedal, pressure builds up in the master cylinder and is transferred through the brake fluid and brake lines to the brake pads and rotors. Over time, your brake fluid draws moisture, which can be pretty harmful to your braking system. Moisture in the brake fluid promotes corrosion of your brakes’ metal components, decreasing your brakes’ efficiency. Every 25,000 miles, you should have your brake fluid tested, flushed, and replaced.


2. Examine Your Brake Pads


The brake pads and rotors are the most critical components of your braking system. They make contact with your tires to stop your vehicle. Due to constant friction, these components deteriorate at a faster pace than other components of your car. This is why they require regular maintenance. To ensure sufficient resistance, you should examine the quality and width of your brake pads.


It may also be time to inspect and replace your brake pads and rotors if you smell a burning odor or your vehicle seems to be having difficulty stopping when the brakes are applied. Since effectively checking the brake pads requires you to remove your tires, you should schedule an appointment with your local mechanic if you need to have your brake pads examined. Replace them immediately if they show signs of wear or damage since driving with worn brake pads can ultimately impact your rotors.


3. Upgrade Brake Parts


When any parts of your braking system need replacement, it’s a good idea to upgrade to higher-quality components. Most improvements include slotted disc brakes, which are more heat resistant, and ceramic brake pads, which are quieter and create less brake dust. When needed, you should always replace your brake parts to ensure that your vehicle’s braking system lasts as long as possible.


4. Bleed Your Brake Lines


Bleeding and cleaning the brake lines to remove excess air is another way to maintain your brakes. When air gets trapped inside your brake line, it reduces the efficiency of your braking system. Your mechanic can easily depress your brake pedal and adjust the bleeder valve to remove air from your brake lines. If you need a reliable and affordable Riverside auto repair shop, we’re here to help!

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