A car isn’t worth much without reliable brakes, but a car’s brake system consists of more than just the brakes themselves. In order to ensure that your car will stop on a dime and keep you safe, you also need to give your rotors and calipers some TLC every once in a while.
The braking system for any car or truck is complex. When you press on the brake pedal, the master cylinder is engaged and forces brake fluid into the brake lines and brake calipers, which are lined with brake pads. The brake pads squeeze the brake rotor surface to slow down and stop the wheels from spinning.
About Rotor Replacement
The rotor looks like a flat-bottomed bowl with a wide top lip, and it is situated for the calipers and pads of the brake to press against either side when the brake is applied. This friction helps the car stop. Since braking is a required part of the driving process, rotors do eventually wear down and need to be replaced, but how can you tell when it’s time?
Rotors are more likely to be damaged if you neglect to change your brake pads regularly, since the calipers will end up scraping against the rotors without a thick enough brake pad to serve as the middle man. If you’re concerned about warped rotors, drive up to 30 or 60 miles per hour and then stop quickly. If you can feel vibrations as you brake, damaged rotors are likely to blame.
Calipers are also a part of the brake system. They are essential to your car’s braking ability because they slow down the car’s wheels by fitting over the rotors like clamps to form friction. Calipers are prone to sticking if brake pads aren’t replaced and brake fluid isn’t topped up at regular intervals. Just like with the rotors, the whole brake system is interconnected, and one negligent action can cause damage to the entire process.
You will know that your calipers are sticking if your car pulls to one side, heats more than usual, or is wearing the brake pads unevenly. This can be a major problem because driving with sticking calipers is essentially driving with partial brakes on at all times. It can lead to major damage and excessive repairs.
As with any problem, seeing a mechanic quickly is the best policy.