Your Braking System is your vehicles primary method of slowing down. Using a combination of mechanical, hydraulic and electrical components they convert your vehicles forward movement to heat energy allowing you to stop. This makes your brakes the most important safety system on your vehicle.
When checking your Brakes here is a few thing we check for
Brake Pads and Friction Surfaces (Rotor & Drum)
- The pad and friction surface it the way your vehicle Stops. Make sure these are at within spec by measuring the amount remaining. Always check manufacturer’s rotor and pad specifications, as 3 mm for a German manufacturer such as BMW may be nearing the end of its life, while 3mm for a Japanese manufacturer such as Lexus, would be considered ok.
- All rotors and calipers should look the same color and condition as its matching counterpart on the other side. For instance if one front caliper and rotor is the color of bare metal, and the other front is rusty, this could be a sign of failure or heat from lockup.
- Dark or blue spots on the rotor can be a sign of abuse, glazed pads, or heat from a locked up caliper.
- If the rotor has high and low spots on the same surface, it means that the rotor is warped. You can feel this in the pedal if it pulses during braking.
Brake Fluid Lines
- Because brake fluid is hydroscopic, the water that the fluid gathers will corrode the brake lines from the inside out. Brake fluid leaks are an indication of a highly dangerous situation and must be fixed immediately.
- Rust on the outside of the line can eat its way into the line and cause leaks as well.
Sensors and Electronics
- Old plastic on sensors will become brittle and can cause problems when removed. Many sensors may deteriorate, leaving exposed wires which will corrode quickly and cause electrical problems.
- Some of the modern brake components rely on electrical motors and actuators. These need to be checked by activating and cycling the component via the latest diagnostic tools and software.