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Brake Repair in Johnson City, TN
Think about how the handbrakes on a bicycle operate. You pull the handbrake lever and a cable pulls on the brake caliper; a pair of rubber pads then drag on the rim, slowing the bicycle down. That’s not unlike how disc brakes on a car work.
Your wheels are bolted to smooth steel discs, called rotors, and a caliper is bolted to the rotor. When you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure forces the brake pads against the rotor to slow the vehicle. Brake pads are a semimetallic or ceramic material, and take 40-60,000 miles to wear to a point where they need to be replaced. As a result, it can be very hard to know when brake pads are significantly worn.
These are all trouble signs, however:
- Pronounced pull to one side while braking
- Noticeable vibration through brake pedal or steering wheel while braking
- Longer stopping distances
- Longer brake pedal travel while braking
- Brake pedal feels “soft” or “spongy” underfoot
- Tendency for one or more wheels to lock up and skid while braking
- Groaning, squealing or metal-to-metal grinding noise while braking
Let’s talk for a moment about the grinding noise. Some brake pads are designed with a wear indicator, a spring-steel tab which protrudes from the pad’s backing plate. This tab drags on the rotor when the pads are at a minimum thickness, alerting the driver to a problem. In other cases, the grinding could mean that your pads are worn down to a point of exposing the rivets which hold the friction material to the backing plate. That means that the rivets are digging into the smooth steel surface of the rotors, ruining them, and your only braking ability comes from this metal-to-metal contact!
Get quality brake repairs at Free Service Tire Company, Inc.
Don’t take chances with your brakes – it means taking a chance with your own safety and that of everyone else on the road. Make an appointment with us at Free Service Tire Company in Johnson City, TN – even if your brakes “feel” okay, it’s important to have them inspected at least a couple of times per year!