Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your car. Brakes that don’t function correctly are a risk to the health and safety of yourself and others. The only way to ensure the longevity of your brakes is to get them checked regularly. Here we look at why a brake service is one of the most important pieces of maintenance you can conduct on your car.
All vehicles have components called brake discs that are protected on either side by a pair of brake pads. Brake pads are pushed onto the brake disc by a hydraulic caliper, which clamps them shut. The system is purposely designed to have the brake pads take the friction off of the brake discs, resulting in wear and tear over time. This makes brake pads one of the most common car parts in need of replacement. In the result of a failed brake service, it is generally cheaper to replace brake pads than brake discs, so it is better to invest in new brake pads to avoid more serious damage to your brake system.
The longevity of your brake pads can vary. Some vehicles may cause more wear on the brake pads than others, and driving habits also impact how long pads can last before needing a brake service. The way you drive your car, where you drive it and how often you drive are all factors to consider. It is believed that roughly 50,000 miles are the average distance brake pads can last, though this may vary between vehicles.
While it sounds redundant to point out that using your brakes more will cause them to wear quicker, some people believe that long journeys cause more wear to your brake pads. While any journey will affect your brake pads, shorter journeys that involve a lot of stop-start traffic have a bigger impact on your brake pads then driving on a motorway or long stretches of road; cruising at a steady speed requires using your brakes less. In short, no matter how far you are travelling, if you are braking regularly you are causing more wear to your brake pads. If you drive frequently in stop-start traffic, it is a good idea to book yourself in periodically for a brake service.
While most newer car models will have sensors that tell you your brakes are getting worn if you have an older car you may need to look out for other signs of brake pad wear to avoid causing damage to your brake system. If you experience any of the following, you should consider booking yourself in for a brake service as soon as possible.
Cars equipped with brake pad sensors will signal a warning on your dashboard when the brake pads become heavily worn. If your car doesn’t have a fitted sensor, it is advised that you get a brake service regularly.
A loud screeching noise when you brake is the most noticeable side effect of worn brake pads. If you hear a grinding noise when you brake this indicates more serious wear on your brake pads and is likely due to the pads being completely worn down.
If your vehicle feels like it’s pulling to one side when you drive, it’s likely that the brake pads need to be changed.
Never ignore brake pads that you suspect need inspecting or replacing. Having a brake service will assess the condition of your brake pads and save you money in the long run by preventing serious damage.
Unless you know exactly what you are doing, it is a bad idea to try and change brake pads at home. While it may seem like an easier and cheaper option then paying for a brake service, if the brake pads aren’t fitted properly or the brake system isn’t calibrated correctly as a result of non-professional work, you are at risk of making your vehicle unroadworthy. The only person you should trust with something as important as your brakes is a skilled mechanic.
At NMT Garages, we understand the importance of maintaining the condition of your vehicle. If you have experienced any problems with your brakes or need to book yourself in for a brake service, our highly skilled and professional mechanics can ensure you get the assistance you need. To get in touch with the team at NMT Garage Services, fill out our contact form or give us a call on 01234 355 888.
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