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Let's talk about something critical for all drivers: your brakes. Your vehicle weighs several thousand pounds and it takes a lot of muscle to bring it and your passengers to a safe stop – so everything needs to be in good working order.
Here's an explanation on how your disk brakes work:
The wheel hub keeps your wheel attached to your vehicle. The brake disc – or rotor – is attached to the hub and rotates with the wheel as you drive around. Your brake pads clamp onto the rotor to slow the wheel.
The brake caliper straddles the rotor and squeezes the rotor to slow it down. The calipers contain brake pads which press on the rotor when you put your foot on the brake. The brake piston causes the calipers to squeeze and release as you use your vehicle brakes.
Your brake pads start to wear the first time you step on the brakes. Eventually the pads wear out and need to be replaced. If you don't replace the pads when they're worn out, the metal parts of the brake will grind against the rotor and carve grooves into the surface. We've all heard grinding brakes and it's not a pretty sound.
If a rotor isn't scored significantly, your friendly and knowledgeable Professional Automotive Services technician can put it on a lathe and smooth it out. If the grooves are too deep, or if the rotor is warped or cracked, you need to replace it.
Sometimes brake pistons can stick and must be replaced. Typically it's cheaper to replace the entire caliper at Professional Automotive Services in Myerstown than to rebuild the piston.
So there you have it – an important lesson on how your disc brakes work. If you replace brake pads on time, it will not only keep your vehicle stopping safely, but could save you cash on unnecessary repairs down the road.