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Brake Maintenance

Everything you Need to Know About Brake Maintenance

The brakes of a car need to be functional when you are driving otherwise, the driver and occupants can be in danger. Besides occupant safety, brakes are an essential component of the car that determine the longevity of the vehicle. Regular brake maintenance can ensure that the vehicle is not at risk of accidents. Although the braking system itself is complex, it can be easily maintained by car owners.  All you need is to make sure that you carefully inspect the brakes and make sure that if they need any repairs they are done timely. The components of the braking system that you need to check include rotors, calipers, brake pads, master cylinder, and brake line.

Check the owner manual to find out about the brake maintenance schedule that you should use. A rule of thumb followed is to check the brake pads after the vehicle has covered 12,000 miles. You should also replace the brake fluid after 25,000 miles. It is best to take the vehicle to an auto shop for such maintenance work.

Given below are some essential factors that you should know about brake maintenance to make sure that they are in top condition.

Inspecting the Brakes

The brake pads and rotor connect the brakes to the wheels of the car. These two components are the most frequent to wear and will require more attention and maintenance than others. The friction created between the wheels and brake pads emits heat that leads to the depreciation of brake pads. To ensure that there is sufficient resistance, the quality and condition of the brake pads should be checked.

Some indicators that brake pads or rotors need to be check include an increase in braking distance, smelling burning odor, or the need to depress the brake pedal further. You can remove the wheels and assess the extent of the damage. If you notice damage, it is better to take the vehicle to a mechanic and get it checked.

Check Brake Fluid Levels

The brake fluid is a crucial part of the braking system as when the brake pedal is depressed it builds up pressure which is then transferred by the brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brake lines and into the calipers. It travels from the calipers to the brake pads and rotors.

The car should be parked at a level surface before you check the brake fluid levels. It should be between min and max. If there is a need for refilling fluids, then check the vehicle’s owner manual to check the recommended fluid. Replace the fluid from a sealed container by following the owner’s manual. On the other hand, the brake fluid should be golden-colored, if the fluid is in a cloudy or milky form that indicates that the brake fluid needs to be changed.

As the brake fluid attracts moisture and absorbs water, it can be damaging to the braking system as it can cause corrosion to the metal of the brakes. It can also reduce the boiling point of the fluid and impact the effectiveness of brakes.

Keep an Eye on Brake Warning Light

If the brake warning light is on, it could be because of several reasons. The parking brake may be activated, the brake fluid level is low, an unbalanced hydraulic fluid flow, or there is low brake pad friction. When you see the warning light be sure to check all these components or simply consult a mechanic to make sure you do not risk safety.

Operational Check

Besides the brake pads and brake fluids, you also need to check how the brakes are operating. There are a few things that you can check while observing how the brake feels:


If the brakes are working well, you should not hear any noise when you are slowing down or when the car stops. In case you hear squeaking or scraping noises, this means that something is wrong, and it should be checked. There may be a problem with the suspension, brake pad, loose bolt, or loose brake.

Pulls Right or Left

If the vehicle is pulling to one side this is also an indicator for a mechanical or hydraulic problem that needs attention. If the vehicle pulls to the right while braking that can be because either of the side brakes is faulty. The brake pads may have uneven wear due to which the brakes are affected as well.

Pedal Feel

The brake pedal should feel firm when you step on it but if it feels light with an occasional heaviness, it can be an indication of air in the braking system. The problem may also arise if there is a mechanical defect such as a seized caliper slider.

It could be a good idea to bleed the brake line to remove excess air from the braking system. The air trapped inside the brake line can affect the efficiency of the brakes, so it needs to be fixed. To fix this problem, the air is removed by depressing the brake pedal as the bleeder valve is adjusted. This should be done after every 2-3 years. You can include this practice as part of your scheduled brake inspection.

Upgrading Brake Parts

During the inspection, you may conclude that some brake parts need to be replaced. This can be a good opportunity to upgrade the braking system with better components that can help enhance performance. Some components that can be included in the upgrade are ceramic pads which produce less brake dust and are quieter. You can also consider slotted disc brakes as they are more heat resistant

Bottom Line

Car brake maintenance is important for every car owner to drive with ease and avoid any safety hazards. Therefore, you should keep the above-mentioned factors in mind for brake maintenance to make sure that your car does not have any problems.