Astoria Mechanic | Collision Repair | Tolimas Auto Center

Brake Rotor and Knuckle

Waiting to have your brakes serviced will cost you more money

There are some people who wait until something is seriously wrong with their brakes before bringing their car in for service. Unfortunately waiting until your car has no more brakes will also greatly increase the cost of a brake service. Driving a car with bad brakes that long will actually cause permanent damage to braking components. The car will go from needing brake pads and rotors to needing a partial reconstruction of the braking system.

Brake Rotors and Pads
Set of New Brake Rotors and Pads

How Brakes Work

When you use your brakes your brake pedal pushes hydraulic fluid through a closed system of steel tubing and reinforced rubber lines to push out the pistons on your brake caliper. Then in turn the pistons push your brake pad against the brake rotor to stop your car. This is how brakes generally work for every car from a Toyota Camry to a BMW M5 to a Lamborghini Aventador. The problem comes in when the brake pads wear out.

How the brake caliper applies pressure to the brake pad to stop the rotor then slightly retracts

What happens when low brake warnings are ignored

When low brake warnings are ignored and your car keeps being driven the brakes will wear down until they are metal to metal. The brake pad material will be completely gone and the metal backing plate for your brake pad will be pushed against the rotor. This metal on metal contact will make a terrible grinding sound. This added friction will create extreme heat which will cook the brake fluid turning it black. The heat will also damage the seals and piston in your brake calipers. The excessive heat can also cause the rubber brake lines in your car to fail.

All this damage will cost a lot more to repair because you’d go from needing brake pads and rotors to needing a brake overhaul. This means your car would also need brake calipers, brake fluid flush, and the rubber lines replaced. With damaged seals and pistons your brake calipers wouldn’t be able to properly retract. Burnt brake fluid wouldn’t be able to properly provide pressure when you depress the brake pedal. Rubber lines can collapse and restrict the flow of brake fluid or leak if they not replaced after they have been overheated. All this adds up in parts and labor. All this can be simply avoided by having your brakes serviced when you get the low brake warning on your dashboard or you hear your brakes screeching when you stop your car. If you have any questions or your car shows these symptoms then feel free to contact us at Tolima’s Auto Center.

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