You’re driving along and all of a sudden there it is! That screeching noise every time you brake.
So it’s time to replace your brakes!
This Service Tip episode was prompted by a family member who has already listened to the squealing of her brakes too long and ended with a much larger repair bill because she did not have the brake pads replaced in time. How did this happen?
In a four wheel disc pattern, each wheel has two brake pads that sit in a caliper, on opposite sides of a rotor. When you press on the brake pedal, the caliper clamps the brake pads against the rotor causing friction and therefore slowing the vehicle. These are wearable parts and do not last forever. Their life span depends greatly on the type of driver you are. Spirited? You’ll replace sooner. Careful and casual? You will get a longer life.
Generally speaking, when your vehicle is in for service at Honda of Oakland, we always do a visual inspection of your brakes. It’s a safety factor and we know you bring your vehicle to us because you trust us with the safety of your vehicle. But what if you haven’t been to Honda of Oakland on a regular basis, maybe you’ve chosen to have the oil changed at an aftermarket facility that may not be as focused on your safety. Maybe you’ve now been hearing this squealing noise for some time and today you pressed on the brake pedal and there was a gut wrenching grinding noise.
Let’s dissect a bit. Generally you normally will get somewhere around 30,000 miles from a set of brake pads. Again, this completely depends on your driving habits. Once the brake pad has worn to a minimum thickness, the squeaker will begin to hit the rotor every time you brake. If you ignore this, then you wear the pad down to the rivets that hold the pad to the backing of the brake pads. It is the metal rivets that then begin to dig into your rotor and cause the bigger damage. If you didn’t damage the rotors too badly, it is possible to ‘turn’ or resurface the rotors and they may be used again, assuming they meet minimum thickness standards once ‘turned’. If not you will need to incur the added expense of replacing the rotors.
So the rule of thumb here is, make sure to always take your vehicle to a responsible technician, one who is as concerned about your safety as you are. Secondly, if you hear noise or a squealing/squeaking noise when you press on the brake. Make an appointment to bring your vehicle in for an inspection.
You can reach our service department at 800 352-1859