Collaborative Post

How to Maintain your car’s brake pads and brake fluid


Your car’s brakes are one of its most important components. Needless to say, you and your passengers are at risk of fatal accidents if your brakes are not properly maintained, since worn out or deteriorating brakes are a leading cause of fatal crashes. 

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Brake Pads

Disk brakes are where your car’s brake pads can be found. They are made of steel coated or backing plates that have been coated with frictional material.

By generating thermal energy through friction, brake pads convert the kinetic energy of your moving vehicle. Your car braking system usually has two brake pads with friction surfaces facing the rotor. Pressing the brake pedal forces the caliper to squeeze against the two pads and the spinning rotor to slow down or stop your vehicle.

As heat is generated by the friction material of a brake pad, it is transferred to the surrounding rotor when it hits it, leaving a light grey coating. Brake discs and brake pads produce the friction that stops your car when you brake. Brake pads absorb heat generated by your car while you are braking. Therefore, it is very likely that they will wear out. It is common for some cars to have visible brake pads. There may be some brake pads hidden inside the car, depending on the model and the manufacturer.

By taking a few precautions, you can extend the life of your brake pads. Avoiding overspeeding, for instance, will prevent you from applying emergency brakes that can quickly wear down your brake pads. Also, you should not press the gas and brake pedals simultaneously as this will put too much pressure on the brake pads.

Additionally, the friction material on your brake pads can wear out faster if your car is always overloaded. For your brake pads to last a long time, it’s a good idea to keep your car as light as possible.

Repairs and replacements

Your brake pads should be inspected after six thousand miles. It is necessary to remove the wheels if you want to check the brake pads. Brake pads on your vehicle should have even wear and be no less than five millimeters thick.

The process of replacing your brake pads is very simple. In the car manual, you can find instructions on how to do it, or you can ask your mechanic if you are not familiar with it. 

Brake fluid level check

All car owners need to keep an eye on brake fluid levels. The first step is to identify the fluid reservoir. You can use the level marks on your car’s fluid reservoir to determine how much brake fluid is in the reservoir.

It is also important to consider what kind of brake fluid you use. You might find that the manufacturers have recommended a particular type of fluid that is most compatible with your car’s systems in its manual. Therefore, we recommend using this type of fluid.

Changing of brake fluid

Many people simply top off the brake fluid when the level is low. Over time, condensation will build up inside the fluid. It is possible for wheel cylinders and master cylinders to be damaged if the brake fluid is contaminated. Thus, you should replace your brake fluid every two years or after you have driven over 25,000 miles. This article gives more details about how often you should change your brake fluids. 

If you need to replace the brake fluid, locate the bleeder screw at the rear of your brakes. Don’t attempt to open the screws if you don’t have the right equipment; you could cause serious damage.

Bleeder screws should be slightly opened to allow brake fluid to drain. Ideally, you should have someone else pump your brakes while you do so. Once that’s done, fill the brake fluid reservoirs with new fluid. The brake’s bleeder screw should be tightened after refilling the brake and before moving on to the next brake. Immediately after refilling all the reservoirs, pump the brakes for a few minutes to ensure the pedals are receiving the correct pressure.