Replacing your brakes? Here are 3 thing to consider
Checking your braking system and all of its components should be high up on your list of routine vehicle maintenance. As one of the most important safety features on your vehicle, it is important to make sure your braking system is in great working order to prevent the likelihood of any failures resulting in serious accidents on the road. All of your braking components work together as a system and should be checked, tested, inspected and in some cases even replace together to ensure the best performance from your brakes. If you're not sure what to look for when checking your braking system, here are a few handy tips to get you started:
Listen for any squeaks or squeals when braking, if you hear any high-pitch noises this is most likely your brake pads telling you they're due for a replacement. If you don't notice any of these noises but still want to check how much life your pads have left, simply remove the wheel and inspect the pads within the brake calliper. You will be able to visually see how much brake pad material is left on the brake pad, we recommend fitting a replacement set of brake pads when the material gets down to approximately 3mm in thickness.
When checking your brake pads, it's a great time to have a look at your rotors too. Using your finger tip, examine for a raised edge or lip around the circumference of the brake rotor as this can indicate uneven wear and the need to fit some replacement rotors. Your brake rotors will also have a manufacturer-recommended minimum thickness level which can be measured using a tool such as the Repco Brake Thickness Reader.
When looking at drum brake systems, similar methods can be applied to checking brake shoes as brake pads and you can also examine visually for any uneven wear on the drum when you have it all apart. One of the other important pieces to check on a drum brake system is the wheel cylinders. These can often fail or leak which will contaminate brake shoes, consume brake fluid and create the need to constantly re-bleed the system. Leaks will be easily detected with a visual inspection and even the most minor of leaks will indicate the need to fit replacement wheel cylinders to prevent serious brake failure going forward.