The Experts at Blu Automotive in Harbor City are here to answer your frequently asked questions about brake service.
What does a full brake service include?
Our full service brake repair includes cleaning the wheel hub mating surface. The wheel hub is where the brake rotor rides on, over time the hub surface develops rust and must be cleaned otherwise other brake issues can arise. Cleaning the wheel hub mating surface can be difficult and special abrasive disc and solvents have to be use to remove the contaminants from the hub. Once cleaned, the brake rotor will have a nice flat surface to mount on, this will reduce the possibility of brake rotor round out. Round out is when the brake rotor has unevenness from left to right. One of the symptoms from excessive brake round out is a steering wheel that slightly rocks or shakes from left to right or the brake pedal feels like its pulsating when applying the brakes. To take car of this we prep the hub, eliminating hub related run-out from dirty hubs.
Caliper pins and brake hardware are removed from the brake calipers and are cleaned using special solvent. Once cleaned the caliper sliding pins are lubricated using grease made specifically for caliper pins. The grease in the caliper can become contaminated over time and when this happens the brake caliper can become stuck on the pins thereby not allowing the caliper to float, keeping the brake pad slightly engaged, causing damage to the brake pad, brake rotor, and possibly the brake caliper.
Equally if the brake pad hardware is not cleaned during brake pad replacement service, the pads can also get stuck. This step is crucial for brake performance and we take special care to ensure proper cleaning and lubrication of the brake system.
If the brake rotors are re-used, we clean the mating surface of the brake rotor to the hub. We resurface the brake rotors and clean them afterwards to remove the metal particle contamination that occurs during the resurfacing process. Neglecting this process can create brake squeal.
The wheels are torqued to factory specification. If the lug nuts are over tightened, it can warp the wheel hub, and the brake rotor or the wheels.
Bedding-in is done after every brake pad replacement. The brake pads leave a fine coat of material on the brake rotors that will be used. We then bed in the brake pads to leave an even coat of brake pad material. This will reduce the possibility of diminished brake performance.
How often should a brake service be done?
Brake service intervals vary. The operators driving habits will have a great effect on this interval. A driver that slams on the brakes from tailgating or speeding creates more friction heating up the brake rotors, pads, and calipers, causing more wear. Driving conditions like stop and go traffic, down hill driving or loading the vehicle with a lot of weight can reduce the life of the brakes pads and brake rotors.
These conditions affect the life of some components of brake systems which initiate the need for brake service sooner than vehicle’s that are not under the conditions described. A brake fluid exchange is recommended about every 30,000 miles.
How do I know if my rotors are bad?
Brake rotor, per manufacturer specification have a minimum thickness requirement. A brake caliper is used to measure the thickness and that measurement is then compared to factory minimum thickness. If the brake rotor is at or near the minimum, then replacement of the brake rotor is recommended for safety.
Brake rotor run-out is when the brake rotor “wobbles” due to imperfection on the surface. Some brake rotors warp due to heat that is generated during braking and some warp from over tightening the wheel lug nuts or studs.
A Dial indicator is used to measure for run-out. Minor run-out can be removed by cutting the rotor on a brake lathe. Brake rotors with moderate or major run-out should be replaced. If the brake rotors have heat spots, cracks or missing pieces, then the brake rotors require replacement.
Common cause of the brake rotor wearing out quickly is from the brake pads maintaining contact with the brake rotor, even when the brake pedal is not being applied, seized brake calipers or from over heating the brake rotors.
Should I replace all 4 brakes at the same time?
It’s not necessary to replace all the brake pads at the same time as long as the remaining brake pads are safe and within manufacturer recommendations. Brake pads are serviced in pairs. If the front brake pad needs to be replaced, then both front left and right brake pads should be replaced and the same goes for the rear brake pads.
Some vehicles have either pads or shoes in the rear. Rear brake drum and shoe systems tend to last longer than the front pads, although brake pads with a rotor system have better stopping power.
Expert Brake Repair in Harbor City, CA.
Brake service goes beyond merely replacing brake pads. Our dedicated mechanics invest their time to make sure your brake system operates reliably and ensures your safety on the road.