Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It’s especially important to know your brakes are in good shape during the winter months, when the conditions might get slippery and when you’ll need to be able to rely on them to bring your vehicle to a stop.
Therefore, we encourage you to come out and visit our brake service in Centre County, PA and get your brakes checked before the winter weather really settles in. Here is a quick overview of the steps involved in any good brake inspection:
- Brake pads: The brake pads are typically the first item to be looked at in a brake inspection. If the pads wear down too much, there could be damage to the discs underneath them. You should check your brake pads regularly—these are easy and cheap to replace, especially compared to the brake discs. You should always have more than an eighth of an inch of padding—otherwise, you should replace them immediately.
- Brake discs: Speaking of brake discs, it’s good to give those a look as well. They should be shiny and in visibly good condition, with thin grooves that are shallow and regular the entire way around the disc. If you notice rough patches, this means the disc has suffered some damage. You should never swap out a single brake disc—change them both together, even if only one was damaged. This will ensure the brakes on both sides of the vehicle work evenly.
- Brake rotors: The thickness of your brake rotors can vary depending on the type of vehicle you have. Check your owner’s manual for information from the manufacturer about required thickness based on your make and model. Each time you get your brake pads replaced, you should check the rotor thickness with a micrometer.
- Brake shoes: If your vehicle has drum brakes, it will have brake shoes as well. This part features the brake lining, which gets pushed up against the drum to slow down the vehicle and bring it to a halt. As you go through the inspection, make sure the brake shoe metal has not worn down to the point where the inner lining is exposed. Grinding noises while applying the brakes are often indicative of metal-on-metal contact inside the drums, which usually means an issue with the brake shoes.
- Brake lines: Check the rubber coating of the brake lines all the way down the line. If that coating has become stiff or cracked in any section, you’ll need to replace the line immediately—otherwise, you run the risk of the metal lines under the coating becoming corroded.
- Brake fluid: Always make sure you have a proper level of brake fluid in your vehicle to keep the entire brake system working properly. If the brake fluid is not at the correct level, you can expect the brake pads to wear down much faster.
For more information about how brake inspections work, contact S & R Repairs Towing & Recovery Inc. or schedule an appointment for brake service in Centre County, PA.
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