Brakes are a critical component of your car for obvious reasons and faulty ones are often the cause of bumper bashings and accidents. It is more important to be able to stop your car than to accelerate, so fitting quality brake pads and discs will ensure your car stops when you need it to.

    Brakes function in a hydraulic system that is filled with brake fluid. The action of braking triggers a set of padded clamps (calipers) that squeeze together on the disc (rotor). The friction between the pads and the disc is what stops the car.

    Brake pads will gradually start to deteriorate, which will reduce their ability to slow down and stop your car. Look out for these signs that indicate that your brakes need servicing or replacing:

    • A slow braking response.
    • The brake pedal is extremely hard to operate and needs to be pushed down hard to engage the brakes.
    • Vibrations when braking could indicate warped discs.
    • Squeaking or scraping brakes – some brake pads have a metal strip placed at a particular depth inside the pad so that when that depth has been reached through the wearing process, it begins to squeal as it touches the metal disc.
    • The warning light on the dashboard lights up when the critical thickness on the brake pads is reached.
    • The car pulling to the left or right when braking. This could indicate that the brakes are not properly aligned or that they need to be replaced.

    Taking care of your brakes:

    • Have your brakes and brake pads checked regularly.
    • Check your brake fluid regularly.
    • Keep a safe following distance so that you don’t have to brake unnecessarily.
    • Try coasting to slow down where possible before engaging the brakes.

    Brakes are designed to wear out but don’t go too long before servicing your car. This may result in additional costs which could have been avoided if brake pads were checked regularly. Avoid wearing the brake pads so thin that the metal backing comes into contact with the brake discs. This puts you in danger and damages the brakes which costs more money to replace than would have been the case with just a replacement of the pads.

    Disc brake pads and brake discs could last around 40 000kms to 50 000kms depending on driving habits and conditions. If you are experiencing any of the above warning signs, have your brakes checked by a professional at one of our Super Tyres branches.