Ask any vehicle owner about the car parts they consider most important and chances are they will mention brakes! Brakes allow the vehicle to stop when required according to the inputs given by the car owners. In vehicles with advanced technologies, the car’s sensor pushes the brakes to avoid damage to the car.
In both situations, stopping the vehicle when required is the critical function of brakes. Given that some vehicles can weigh as much as a few tons, you should be able to understand the importance of proper braking.
Having a proper set of functioning brakes ensures safety and security for all the inhabitants in the car. Additionally, if proper brakes are not there, you risk the lives of others on the road. This means that vehicle owners need to pay attention to brake repair at all times.
In this resource article, we are going to discuss the following important knowledge on brakes-
- The three major components that make up the brake set-up in cars.
- The frequency you should get your brakes serviced and maintained.
- How long does it take to repair brakes?
- Reasons changing your brakes should never be a DIY exercise.
- The actual costs of a complete brake job for the vehicle.
The Three Main Components that make up a Car’s Braking System
According to experts, modern brake systems (disc brakes) are composed of the following three major elements-
- Brake Pads
Brake pads are found in vehicles that have a disc brake system set up. A brake pad consists of a slab of flat steel that is covered with a high-friction material. The type of material differs from vehicle to vehicle. When the driver applies the brakes, the clamp squeezes against the pads and brings the vehicle to a halt. Brake pads come under severe stress during braking.
- Brake Rotors
Just like pads, rotors are also found in vehicles that have a disc brake set-up. the rotors are the circular steel discs that are located on the wheels of the vehicle. As soon as the brake calipers are squeezed, the pads create friction against the rotors and bring the car to a halt. Rotors can be smooth, drilled, slotted, or even both. They have an average life of 50000 miles.
- Brake Callipers
Brake calipers perform the function of squeezing the brake pads to the rotors. The higher the number of calipers, the better will be the braking of the vehicle. Brake calipers have a long life and can last anywhere between 100000 miles and ten years. They need to be serviced regularly and inspected by experts at frequent intervals.
All these three components need to work seamlessly to ensure that the braking system on the vehicle is performing.
How often should you get your Brakes Serviced and Inspected?
In order to answer this question, you need to take into consideration the driving style of the vehicle owners. However, on average, the following time and mileage intervals need to be kept in mind-
- According to experts at Toycen Ford, brake pads should be changed at an interval of 30000 to 50000 miles.
- When it comes to calipers, they usually last for a minimum duration of 75000 miles or ten years.
- Some car models that come with smaller brake systems or are handled roughly need brake pad changes at 25000 miles.
Several factors affect the life of braking systems. The following should be kept in mind when looking to determine when to change brake pads-
- Style of Driving– if you are a vehicle owner that loves to drive aggressively, then you might need a brake pad change every 20000 miles. Drivers that are harsh on their brakes (slam them) see their brake pads wearing down earlier than the ones that take it slow.
- Build of the Brake Pads– according to experts, ceramic brake pads tend to have a much longer life than the ones created from other materials. Metallic brake pads experience faster wear and tear as compared to ceramic brake pads.
- The Status of the Components– if your calipers and rotors are worn out, your brake pads will not last very long. The life and condition of the other braking components also play a role as to how long the brake pads will require changing.
How long does it take to Repair Brakes?
According to experts, inspecting all four brakes and understanding their condition takes between thirty minutes to an hour. In this exercise, all four pads, rotors, and calipers are inspected and checked.
If you are specifically looking at the time that is required to change pads and rotors, then the same can vary. A thorough professional needs less than an hour for the same. while an amateur at a repair or mechanic shop will take more than two hours.
Brake pads on their own take a little over half an hour to get installed. Many people want to know only about brake pads since this is the component that requires to be changed the most often,
Many people are interested in understanding the amount of time required for the new brake set up to work. In this regard, experts point to a time of 300 to 400 miles.
Why Changing your Brakes should never be a DIY Exercise?
The internet is replete with resources that tell you how to change the brake pads, rotors, and calipers on your own. However, according to experts, carrying out any form of brake repair should be left to professionals.
In other words, you should never look to fiddle around with the brakes on your vehicle. In this section, we look at why brake repair should never be a DIY exercise-
Firstly, modern vehicles are complicated. They have sensors, software, and technologies that require professional input. Trying to do things on your own can interfere with the technology and make the entire system stop performing normally.
Secondly, most brands have warranties that can be voided if you tinker with their OEM. This means that you will end up jeopardizing the company’s assurance that all vehicle owners should strive to protect at all costs. Anything goes wrong, the company will not cover it.
Thirdly, while amateur resources on the internet show a time frame of changing pads at roughly an hour, it can take infinitely longer. If you are a beginner taking help from YouTube, the exercise can set you back by upwards of four to five hours!
Fourthly, brakes are by far the most important safety element on a car. If anything goes wrong even by the slightest margins, you are endangering the safety of yourself, and the passengers. Additionally, you are putting the lives of others on the road at risk.
Lastly, with the host of advanced suites related to braking, technology runs these systems. This means you would need access and passcodes that only the company’s authorized service centers would be able to get. No matter how hard you try, you would not be able to do it.
What are the Actual Costs of a Complete Brake Job in Vehicles?
If you are still with us, I am sure you would want to know how much do you have to pay for one. To be honest, there is no thumb rule as far as prices are concerned.
If you are going for a complete brake repair job (pads, calipers, and rotors) you are looking at anywhere between three hundred dollars to eight hundred dollars. This is a standard that covers most vehicles currently on sale in the United States.
However, if we are talking about luxury vehicles, the same can start from $1000 and go upwards to $5000! Yes, the braking systems for your Audis, Mercs, and BMWs do not come cheap. If you are just looking to change the brake pads (all 4), you would be looking at a charge of about $150.
When it comes to labor, it usually depends on where you are getting the brake work done. In normal repair and mechanic shops, the labor charges would be between $100 to $150. IN authorized service centers where trained professionals perform the task, you are looking at $200 to $300.
The Bottom Line
Just like repairing the brake can never be a DIY job, it should also never be carried out at amateur repair shops. If you are serious about caring for your brakes, you should only visit company authorized service centers. Not only do they help you carry out a better job, but they also ensure that the warranty of your vehicle does not get voided. If you have any more questions, that you would want us to answer on brake repairs, let us know in the comments below. We will request our experts at Toycen Ford to help address them.