Jul 16

Easy Way To Tell When You Need a Disc Brake Change

People often take brake maintenance for granted but you still should be aware when you need a brake change. It’s vital and can save you plenty in the long run.

brake disc

Damage to rotor caused by loss of friction material and pad backing plate contacting rotor. (metal to metal)

During the brake disc inspection there are several components you need to check and ensure are working properly. In addition, brakes need too be checked at least twice a year and if you drive substantially more than the average worker’s commute, then you need to do it more often. Inspecting your brake disc will help protect you and your passengers as well as help save money from damage that would otherwise result due to negligence diligent brake maintenance.

Most vehicles brakes today can be inspected without removing the wheels and this is easier on vehicles with alloy rims (some would argue that this is a luxury exclusively to those with alloys). But this should never be a constraint since even if it means jacking up the wheels and checking the brake pads and brake disc’s wear.

but you’d be surprised/entertained by how many people burn themselves when handling their vehicles at home.

brake change padFirst inspect your Disc

Before hopping to do this you need to be aware that the brakes need to cool down before checking, to avoid burning yourself. Brake parts can get extremely hot so don’t attempt this after having been driving. It is best to do this early in the morning or after waiting for 2-3 hours after driving for the brake disc to cool. This is a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised/entertained by how many people burn themselves when handling their vehicles at home. The brake disc should be relatively shiny  although it may also have small ridges. But this is quite normal so you don’t need to be alarmed. What you do need to do is feel around for rough spots or irregular grooves developing on the brake disc. If these are visible then you will need a brake disc change to make sure road safety is maintained.

Next Comes inspecting the brake pads

Once again on some vehicles these can also be inspected through the rims but if it’s not clear then just remove the wheel to be sure. Most brake disc pads when new have approx 9-12 mm of friction material visible  As long as there is still greater than 3 mm of material showing all round the pad, your brake pads still have life in them. You also need to be mindful that vehicles can experience slight differences in wear on each wheel, so ensure you check both sides thoroughly. If the material is 3mm or less then you need a brake change on your pads. Make sure to change all disc Brake pads together, not just on one wheel.

Just remember, when in doubt, see your trusty mechanic !