Car Brakes FAQ's

How long should my brakes last?

Break WearIf you don't drive the vehicle - they'll last forever.

Brake component life expectancy is dependent upon:

  • How you drive,
  • What you drive, and
  • the Conditions under which you drive your vehicle.

Brake pads should last anything from 15,000 to 70,000 kilometres. If you feel that your brake pads are wearing out prematurely talk to us about choosing a brake pad that suits your needs.

Why are my brakes noisy?

Brake NoiseBrakes should operate with a minimal amount of noise, however some noise is normal, but excessive squeal, screech, grinding, groaning or banging means that your brakes need attention.

There are many varying factors that can contribute to noise including vehicle application and driving style. If you have any concerns about the noise your brakes make, our technician can inspect them for you.

There's a terrible vibration when I brake. What causes that?

VibrationsIf the brake pedal, steering wheel or the entire vehicle shakes, vibrates or pulsates when the brakes are applied, then the disc brake rotors may need resurfacing.

More serious problems such as a loose component or a faulty steering mechanism can also cause vibration. If you have any concerns about the performance of your brakes, our technician can inspect them for you.

When should brakes be machined?

Brake Disc CleaningB & R Brakes recommends that rotors be machined as a routine part of every brake job.

Disc thickness variation and surface irregularities can lead to brake noise and vibration. Some rotors cannot be satisfactory machined and replacement may be necessary. We always measure the thickness prior to commencing machining.

Which brake pads should I use for my car?

brakesThe key to selecting the right brake pad for your car and to achieving efficient braking is matching your driving style and vehicle type with the right brake pad formulation. We are the specialists, so let us help you to decide on what suits you.

How do car brakes work?
Animation showing the key parts of a car's braking system and what happens when you press the brake pedal
  1. Your foot pushes on the brake pedal.
  2. As the pedal moves down, it pushes a class 2 lever, increasing your pushing force.
  3. The lever pushes a piston (blue) into a narrow cylinder filled with hydraulic brake fluid red). As the piston moves into the cylinder, it squeezes hydraulic fluid out of the end (like a bicycle pump squeezes out air).
  4. The brake fluid squirts down a long, thin pipe until it reaches another cylinder at the wheel, which is much wider.
  5. When the fluid enters the cylinder, it pushes the piston in the wider cylinder (blue) with greatly increased force.
  6. The piston pushes the brake pad (green) toward the brake disc (grey).
  7. When the brake pad touches the brake disc, friction between the two generates heat.
  8. The friction slows down the outer wheel and tyre, stopping the car.

In practice, the pedal operates four separate hydraulic lines running to all four wheels. We're just showing one wheel here for simplicity.

To be sure your vehicle is safe, you should have your brake problems diagnosed and fixed by the B & R Brakes - Castle Hill specialists.

What could be the problem if... ?

brakesThe Brake Warning is Light On?
This may be caused by a leak or lack of fluid or faulty master cylinder or servo, which will render your brakes not fully functional. It could also be a faulty sensor or electrical fault.

The ABS Warning Light is On?
Fault in the ABS Braking system

I experience Brake Fade?
Incorrect, distorted or heat effected linings, Overloaded Vehicle or Rear Brakes not working properly

Spongy Pedal
Air in System or distorted or faulty linings

Long Pedal Travel
Loose or worn Bearings, Disc Run Out, Drum Brakes need adjustment or Fluid leak

Brakes Binding
Handbrake maladjusted or Seized Caliper Pistons

Hard Pedal
Poor Braking caused by incorrect or glazed linings, Servo inoperative,
seized Caliper pistons, faulty Master Cylinder or Poorly bedded in linings

Weak or ineffective handbrake
Worn rear brake pads or faulty rear calipers or worn handbrake shoes

Brakes Pulling or locking up
Faulty drum or Disc, Unsuitable Tyre pressure, Worn Linings or Seized Caliper Pistons
Fall in Brake fluid Level
Worn pads, Brake fluid leak in:- calipers; brake cylinders hose connections, wheel cylinders or brake pipe work

Brake Squeal
Incorrect pads fitted, Worn retaining pins, No pad dampening shims

Loss of pedal
Master Cylinder failure, Burst pipe or hose, Fluid seal leak in calipers or wheel cylinders. Overheated or vaporized Brake Fluid.

Pedal Flutter (pulsing pedal)
Distorted discs or oval drums

Brake Pad Glazed or bluing apparent
Pad has probably overheated

Caliper piston stuck or uneven operation
Corroded or worn Caliper slides

Uneven Pad Wear
Corroded or worn caliper slides, ceased piston, incorrect brake fitting

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