Brake Repair & Service in Bloomington, IL
Nothing is more important to your safety while driving than your brakes. Not your airbags or tires or seatbelts – your brakes.
If you’re like most Americans and drive 12-15,000 miles per year, you step on your brake pedal about 75,000 times in that year. Along with the fact that the friction material on brake pads can last 50,000 miles, it can be very difficult to notice when brakes have worn to a point of needing replacement.
These are all sure signs that you’re going to need brake service soon:
- Longer stopping distances
- Longer brake pedal travel before brakes engage
- Brake pedal feels “soft” or “spongy” underfoot
- Pronounced pull to one side while braking
- One or more wheels tends to lock up and skid while braking
- Noticeable pulsation or vibration through brake pedal while braking
- Squealing, grinding or metal-to-metal grinding noise while braking
Your disc brakes work on a similar principal to bicycle handbrakes. The wheels are bolted to smooth steel discs called rotors, and a steel caliper encloses the rotor. When you apply the brakes, hydraulic pressure forces the brake pads against the rotor, dragging on the rotor until the vehicle slows and stops due to friction. The pads use a semi-metallic or ceramic material which is resistant to heat and wear.
Of the noises we mentioned earlier, the worst noise you can hear is the metallic grinding. Some brake pads use a spring steel tab which protrudes from behind the pad at a right angle. When brakes reach a minimum thickness, the tab serves as a wear indicator and drags along the rotor, making noise and alerting the driver. Worse yet, it could be the sound of the backing plates of the brake pads grinding against the rotors, with the pad material worn completely down. That means that you have almost no braking power, and your rotors are quickly being ruined!
At Don Owen Tire, we’re your hometown resource for quality auto repair, including brake service. Brakes should be inspected at least once a year – what kind of condition are your brakes in? Make an appointment with us!