Seeing the red brake lights of the car ahead in traffic light up can be an unnerving sight. Naturally you reach for your brake pedal with anticipation that you will effectively stop the vehicle. As you apply the brakes you realize OH NOO your foot has pushed the pedal effortlessly to the floor. Your greatest fear has been realised: Brake Failure. The question we need now ask is: how did we get here? We woke up had a bite to eat, perked some coffee, prepared and then transported the kids to daycare, kissed them goodbye and pointed that missil (your car) in the direction of your place of work and got on your way! Brakes are very similar to filing taxes you can ignore them for whatever length you want but eventually they need attention or they will be brought to your attention in a fashion of your disliking. What's most encouraging however is that BRAKE FAILURE is nearly always preventable. Long before your brakes fail vehicles are designed to notify you and provide clues that they are beginning to degenerate.
Here is where we at Lorelli’s can help you, we can perform a road test checking for brake lead, pull, pulsation or shuddering at highway speeds. These are some of the more common signs that appear without much investigation. That being said your disc brake assemblies should be disassembled every 30,000 kilometers or 18 months. During this time we will remove rust and corrosion buildup from brake pads, brake pad guides and caliper sliders as well as lubricate the fundamental moving parts. We recommend servicing rear drum brake assemblies every 10,000 kilometers or semi-annually. During this service we remove brake dust buildup, lubricate backing plates and adjust shoes to factory specification while also inspecting parking brake performance. It is important to remember that brake component wear is normal and expected even under optimal driving conditions. Any 1 fault in the system can expedite the rate at which the system degenerates. The common issues we discover are:
- Worn Brake Pads or Brake Shoes
- Worn and or warped Brake Drums and Rotors
- Rusted or Corroded braking surfaces
- Heat stressed components
- Seized or sticky Brake Calipers
- Leaking Wheel cylinders
- Leaking, Damaged, or Corroded Hydraulic brake lines and hoses
- Fouled Brake Fluid
Servicing your brakes at the above intervals will reduce the chances that these faults may occur as well as appropriately spot the early signs of future failures. Wearing your brakes out to 0% braking power is not common practice we recommend replacing your brakes at 15-20% remaining brake life. You might think that leaves 15% to be desired but most brake issues arise when brakes are nearing their limits. This means that at their base the very calculated formula of leverage, pressure and stopping power is nearing its lower limit. If taken care of properly brake system repair costs should usually only include: brake pads, brake rotors, lubrication and appropriate fluids as these are the items that come into direct friction with each other and naturally wear away in the form of brake dust. Today's modern systems have the ability to trigger a light to appear on the dashboard in regards to the braking system. Turn to your vehicle’s owners manual to determine if the light you’re seeing is related to the braking system. If you feel like any of these issues may exist or might need some attention don’t hesitate to contact us, we are drivers too and understand the knowledge and confidence of piece of mind.