Most drivers are surprised to learn just how quickly brakes wear down. They buy a new car, and before the warranty has even expired, their mechanic is telling them they need new brakes. More often than not, the problem is in the front brakes. Because most of a vehicle’s weight shifts to the front when stopping, the front brakes absorb most of the impact. Friction does damage to the stopping system each and every time it is used. The good news is that this damage can be easily and affordably repaired if maintenance is done on a regular basis.
Replace the Pads
The single most common maintenance task is replacing worn-out pads. These steel cushions are attached to the calipers that clamp down on the brake discs and bring the vehicle to a halt. As you might imagine, they experience an awful lot of wear and tear during normal operation. But because they are inexpensive, pads should be replaced as often as needed.
Failure to replace pads can and will damage other parts of your braking system. Most mechanics will recommend replacing them when they wear down to less than 1/8th of an inch. Depending on your driving habits, this can take anywhere from two to five years. Good pads will last about forty thousand miles. When they are replaced on a regular basis, steel pads will protect brake discs, which are far more expensive. Worn-out pads will not provide the protection needed to prevent calipers from cutting deep grooves in discs, grooves that may cause the pedal to pulsate or seize when applied.
Shocks And Struts Repair
It might surprise you to learn that components outside of your braking system can have a dramatic effect on stopping distance. In particular, your shocks and struts are responsible for maintaining an even, steady ride. If your vehicle requires shocks and struts repair, it simply will not be able to stop on a dime. The problem? The excessive swaying and bouncing that commonly occurs when these components go bad can rob your car of at least 10 feet of stopping distance, according to testing.
The good news is that the average shocks and struts repair is a relatively simple, affordable automotive procedure. Even if the parts need to be replaced, the job shouldn’t cost you more than a few hundred dollars. That is a small price to pay for improved braking and driving performance. It is important to add that automotive professionals recommend getting these important components checked every 12,000 to 15,000 miles. On average, shocks and struts repair or replacement is needed every 50,000 miles.
In the end, taking proper care of your braking system and the components that affect it saves time and money. It also ensures that your vehicle will be safe to drive for years to come.