When it comes to safe stopping of your vehicle, the reliability of your brakes is of the utmost importance. To put this in context, the average car requires approximately 91m to come to a dead stop from 100km/hr. The stress imparted to the brakes is immense. In order to insure continued safe operation of your vehicle, it is important to check your brakes for signs of wear at regular intervals. Here are some recommendations for checking your pads and disks.
In todays electronic-fuelled automotive industry a variety of sensors are available to track consumables such as tyre-pressure etc. Brake pad wear is no exception; if the light appears on your dash, get them checked. Similarly, if you notice a decrease in stopping capability, weather conditions not-withstanding, it is time to get them checked.
If you are checking them yourself, there are a few things to bear in mind. As brakes are used, they deteriorate and leave a deposit of dust on your wheels. Less of this appearing around the rims under your normal driving habits is a sign the pads are worn. Furthermore, if you notice a grinding noise, similar to a metal-on-metal sound, it is time to take a closer look at their condition.
Modern disk brakes are designed to be easily checked and serviced. Many callipers have grooves designed into them to allow the pad be checked without the need to remove it. If you notice the contact surface has developed a shine and is close to the metal base, it’s time to change them. If serious wear has occurred, the disks will be grooved, leading to a more expensive job.