Did you know that every time you go in for an oil change and tire rotation that you should also be prepared for the possibility of brake maintenance, brake repair or other brake work? Well, as your tires come off every time they're rotated and your car is in the air having its oil changed it just makes sense for any sensible mechanic to check the brake pad life, look for fluid leaks and make sure the brake fluid reservoir is topped up with a dense looking brown fluid. That stuff helps you stop faster and is thus known as “brake fluid.”
The one thing that is totally unpredictable from car to car and even from model to model in a brand’s lineup is how quickly your brake pads will wear out each time. Some drivers get fewer than 10,000 miles on a set of pads while others get well over 50,000 miles. That all depends on the quality of the materials selected by the manufacturer of your brake pads and also on how aggressively you drive your own automobile. It can also vary due to environmental differences like whether or not you live in a hilly area.
So as we said at the start, brake pad wear is something you should have checked at every oil change and tire rotation interval. You don’t generally want to go under the 2 millimeters of wear mark on your pads as beyond that you will no doubt soon hear the tell-tale squeaking of the wear arms scratching against your brake rotors to alarm you into servicing your vehicle immediately. Wait, what are brake rotors you ask?
Brake rotors are the circular metal pieces of your braking system which rub against the brake pads (which are pushed against the rotors by “calipers”) and they are generally very heavy and on the pricey side to replace. But you must replace them when performing brake pad replacement if the rotors are under the legal thickness allowance under the law. If you machine rotors that are too thin they will overheat and become out of round or “not smooth,” causing your braking ability to decrease sharply. Also, most drivers will also feel the brake pedal kick back when its depressed and hear a loud thunking rotational noise.
So have we convinced you it’s important to get your brakes checked at every service or tire rotation? Hey, it’s fall so why not get your whole car checked out!