Brakes & Tires Services
Most cars use what are known as disc brakes. These function in much the same way as brakes on a ten-speed bicycle. A hydraulic system filled with brake fluid triggers a set of padded clamps known as callipers, causing them to squeeze together on a disc known as the rotor. The friction that occurs between the pads and rotor eventually stops the car.
Over time, as you can imagine, the pads will begin to wear thin, which means they’ll become less effective at slowing and stopping your car.
Of course, there are some obvious signs that your brakes need servicing, such as the brake light appearing on your car’s dashboard or the feeling that your vehicle is taking longer to stop than it should. In either of these cases, you should visit North Island Lube for a brake check as soon as possible.
Do you know what the other signs are that could indicate an ailing brake system? Here, we deliver five that just may help you put the brakes on a serious accident in the future.
Look and Listen
There are two ways to check for brake wear on disc brakes: by looking and by listening. First, check for wear by looking at your brake pads through the spaces between the the wheel’s spokes. The outside pad will be pressed against a metal rotor. Generally, there should be at least 1/4 inch of pad. If you see less than 1/4 inch of pad, you may want to have your brakes pads inspected or replaced.
If you are hearing a high pitched screeching sound when you applied your brakes, thats a small metal shim, called an indicator, which is giving you an audible warning that you need to replace your brake pads. If you hear it regularly, quickly make an appointment with North Island Lube before it damages your discs.
Reduced responsiveness or fading
If your rakes are not as responsive as they should be or if the pedal “sinks” towards the floor, this could be an indication of a leak in the braking system. It could be an air leak (in the brake hose) or a brake fluid leak. If there is a small puddle of fluid when the car is parked there is a good chance that you have a brake fluid leak. Brake fluid looks less slimy than brake fluid oil, but with a less ‘slimy’ texture.
If your vehicle “pulls” to one side while braking, it may be a sign that the brake linings are wearing unevenly or that there is foreign matter in the brake fluid. At North Island Lube we can adjust your brakes or drain and replace your brake fluid.
Grinding or growling
This loud metallic sound means that you have worn down the pads completely. The grinding noise is caused by two pieces of metal, (the disc and the caliber) rubbing together. If this happens do not be surprised if you need to have the rotors ’turned’ which evens out the rotor surface, in worse cases they may have to be replaced. This is a costly job and can easily be avoided if you have your brakes checked every time you get your oil changed.
A vibration or pulsating brake pedal is often a symptom of warped rotors, or could indicate that your car is out of alignment. Warped rotors are caused by severe braking for long periods, such as a driving down a steep mountain or towing. The vibration is felt because the brake pads are not able to grab the surface evenly. Always have your brakes checked before and after long trips especially if you are towing.
For many owners, maintaining the vehicle’s brakes is something that is often overlooked. But keeping your brakes properly calibrated and in good working order can prevent costly repairs down the line, and more importantly, help you avoid a collision.
Tire rotation is a necessary part of tire maintenance. According to industry experts, tires should be rotated after a maximum of 10,000 km. Rotating your tires helps ensure even wear on all four tires, since acceleration, cornering, braking, and engine weight can all cause the front tires to wear faster than the rear ones.