The FAQs of Brake Repair
The FAQs of Brake Repair
Posted on May 4, 2020
It's a fairly well-acknowledged truth that you don't have to know a lot about cars in order to drive one. The learning curve from having a licence and being a good driver to having mechanic-level knowledge of vehicles is steep. At South Trail Kia, we can't blame you for not knowing what every creak, rattle, and shake could mean for your vehicle. That's why we've compiled these helpful FAQs to assist you when it comes to dealing with your brakes. From simple brake inspections to brake repairs, we hope to shed some light on your brakes and help you know when it's time to come in and have a professional take a look.
Q: How can I tell when my brakes need to be replaced?
A: Front brake pads last about 48,000 km and 80,000 - 96,000 km for the back depending on your driving style and the driving conditions.
Q: Are dusty brakes normal?
A: Yes - with some pads. This is because some brake pad's friction materials are held together with petroleum hydrocarbons which, when hot, leave a greasy film on wheels that everything will stick to. Also, with metallic formula pads, as they get hot the metallic particles tend to want to stick to other metals, such as alloy wheels. In some instances, if another variable in your braking system isn't working correctly, such as damaged rotors, this can also lead to dust.
Q: Do I have to change my rotors when I change my pads?
A: It's not necessary, but we strongly suggest that when changing your brake pads that you turn and resurface your rotors. Resurfacing can only be done a couple times though before you'll need to replace them.
Q: Does brake fluid need to be changed?
A: Brake fluid needs to be changed every 2 years or 3,800 km. Just like every other fluid in your vehicle it should be flushed and changed at certain intervals.
Q: Why is torquing rotors so important?
A: Rotors can warp and need replacing faster if lug nuts or wheel studs are not tightened to the specified lb-ft of torque
Q: Why are my brakes pulsing?
A: This is more likely to be a defect in the rotor or drum than in the anti-lock system. Your brake pad could be worn out and warping the rotor.
Q: Why is the brake pedal sinking to the floor?
A: This usually indicates a leak in the braking system, either air or fluid. If it's a fluid leak, you'll notice a small patch of fluid when the car is parked, similar to an oil spill but less slimy. It could also be that the master cylinder is worn.
Q: Why are my brakes grinding?
A: This means that your brake pads are completely worn out. This can also scratch your rotor, meaning they'll need to be turned and eventually replaced.
Q: Why are my brakes vibrating?
A: Either your rotors are warped or your vehicle is out of alignment. Warped rotors are caused by severe braking over extended periods of time, such as going down a steep mountain or when towing.
If you're noticing any of the above things happening with your brakes, be sure to book an appointment with us to take a look and ensure your brakes are in good repair.