We have all experienced brake issues with our cars at one time or another. When it is a screeching, squealing or grinding noise, the diagnosis is fairly simple. But what about when you step on the brakes, your steering wheel shakes and your car shudders or jerks to a stop? What is that all about? That braking issue does require a bit more diagnosis on the mechanic’s part but in the end, it is usually just a warped brake rotor.
The brake rotor is the disc that the brake pads ride against and it should be completely flat all the way across. Even just a small amount of warping can cause that annoying pulsation or vibration that you are feeling in the brake pedal. Being able to see the actual warping is not something that an untrained eye can do, but our mechanics here at GIC Car Clinic will be able to spot the tell-tale signs right away. They will look for glazed or discolored patches around the surface of the brake rotor and may even have to use a straight-edge to determine if the rotor is warped.
Although many shops will resurface the brake rotor, it is highly recommended that it just be replaced. In some cases, it may be the brake drum that has become warped and will need replaced. In any case, it is a repair that should be taken care of as soon as possible to avoid further damage to components or loss of braking ability.
There are some things that you can do to help prevent brake rotor or brake drum warping. Some are as simple as driving differently and some pertain to repairs performed on the car. Here is a list that our mechanics here at GIC Car Clinic have devised for you:
- Take care to properly torque down your lug nuts. Even an uneven amount of torque from one lug nut to another will cause warping of the brake rotor. Never just use an impact wrench alone to torque them down, tighter isn’t always better in this case.
- Don’t ride your brakes. Riding your brake pedal creates a lot of heat that can cause your rotors to warp rather quickly.
- Downshift on steep grades to take some of the workload away from your brakes. By downshifting, you let the engine braking help do the work of slowing the vehicle down.
- Keep your car clean. Clean brakes are happy brakes, they will perform better and keep cooler that way also.
Always remember, if you have any problem with your braking system, get it repaired right away. This will save you a lot of headaches in the future. Bring it in to GIC Car Clinic in San Jose, California and have one of our experts take a look at your brake system today. We will let you know if you have any problems and get them fixed for you.
Got Questions? Send us an Email