As one of (if not the most) important safety features in your car, the braking system needs regular maintenance to perform at peak levels. Since brake pads and shoes stop a vehicle by using friction, high heat and moving parts wear out the lining more quickly, making it crucial to keep a close eye on how your brakes behave.
Of course, the rate of wear depends on driving habits and conditions, with frequent stops making brakes degrade sooner. In addition, larger and heavier vehicles (SUVs and trucks) experience brake wear faster than lighter, more compact ones. Aggressive driving with hard stops will cause this component to break down more quickly, as well.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “complete brake job” thrown around, but what does it involve? Here’s a breakdown of the tasks most mechanics will perform in a complete brake job, and once you understand the process more fully, you’ll be able to converse with your technician before, during, and after this vital service.
How Long Do Brakes Last?
Depending on the conditions listed above, some brakes might last 25,000 to 30,000 miles while others stay strong through 50,000 or 60,000 miles. Having a professional do a thorough evaluation at least once a year can help you anticipate a soon-to-fail braking system.
14 Steps to a Complete Brake Job
- Check steel lines and replace any that have leaks, corrosion or kinks.
- Repair/replace wheel cylinder or leaking caliper.
- Examine and replace any hoses that are cracked, swollen, leaking, or damaged.
- If caliper has a seized piston or guide pins (and pads have worn unevenly), replace caliper.
- Carefully check drums and rotors for cracks (due to heat), warping, rust, or other damage and replace or repair as necessary.
- Inspect brake pedal for loosening or sinking and master cylinder for leaks.
- If brake pads or shoes need replacing, make sure all brake hardware gets changed, as well.
- Apply new shoe-retaining clips and springs on drum brakes.
- Inspect self-adjusters for corrosion and wear and repair or replace them as needed.
- Add high-temperature fluid/lubrication to important areas like caliper slides and shoe pads.
- Examine and repair wheel bearings. This step applies to most rear-wheel drive vehicles and some front-wheel drive vehicles.
- Inspect and adjust parking brake.
- Flush brake fluid and bleed other lines, if necessary.
- Inspect and replace any malfunctioning components, like wheel speed sensors or hydraulic modulator/accumulator, and fix any fault codes in the ABS system.
For all your vehicle maintenance and repair needs, call University Auto Repair in Flagstaff at 928-779-3144 today!