aka The Front End Shop

Fairbanks Auto Repair

Open Mon - Fri: 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Disc Brake Maintenance

Your vehicle weighs several thousand pounds and it takes a lot of force to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.

The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached the vehicle.  The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and spins with the wheel as you drive.  Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.

The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down.  The calipers contain brake pads which rub on the rotor when you step on the brakes.

The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your brakes.

Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes.  Eventually the pads are worn out and need to be replaced.  If you don’t replace the pads when they’re worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface.

If a scored rotor isn’t too bad, your technician can put the rotor on a lathe and smooth it out.  If the grooves are too deep, or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to be replaced it.

Servicing disc brakes require special attention to the mechanical sliding and mounting portions of the system. Your service supplier knows the special needs.  Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced.  Typically, it’s cheaper to replace the entire caliper than to rebuild the piston. 

So, there you have it – an inside look at how your disc brakes work.  Replacing your brake pads on time will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely but could save you money on unnecessary brake repairs down the road.

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Frontline Automotive

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