Your brakes are the single most important safety feature of your car – you must pay attention to their condition
When you brake
When you are decelerating your car – the load is transferred to the front wheels – therefore it is the front brakes that will always be doing most of the work to slow you down.
Most cars have disc brakes – some have both
Most new cars have disc brakes on all four wheels – but some do still have drum brakes at the back with disc brakes up front.
On a disc-brake a set of heat-resistant pads grip the spinning brake rotor when you push the brake pedal – using friction to slow the wheel down and ultimately bring the car to a stop.
Drum brakes work on the same principle as disc brakes – shoes press against a spinning surface – this is called the drum.
Servicing disc brakes
The disc brake pads will gradually wear and become too thin – reducing their ability to slow the car down – this is why the brake pads must be replaced when required.
Brake pads will last some drivers as much as 70,000 miles while other drivers will only get 25,000 miles wear – it depends on the type of car and your style of driving.
If the pads have been allowed to wear really badly and you can hear a scraping sound – then it is probably too late to just replace the pads – you may have damaged the disc itself.
If the disc need replacing this will cost a lot more than just putting on new pads – Have regular servicing and make sure the pads are changed when required – this will avoid unnecessary additional costs.
Servicing drum brakes
Drum brakes – are harder to service than disc brakes – they have more parts – but they do cost less.