Please contact Danny Bryant at 806-372-2126 if you have any further questions.
Brakes and suspension are possibly the most important safety issues on a vehicle.
Brake pads will last 35,000 to 95,000 miles depending on the driving habits and the type of brake pads. New pads start at 10 to 12 millimeters thick. and should be replaced at about 2 to 3 millimeters. When you have your tires rotated, go ahead and have the brakes checked. Since the wheels are already off, a technician can look and measure the width of the pads.
Some vehicles (Mercedes and most BMWs) have a sensor light on the dash informing you that the brake pads are thin. For other vehicles, most brake pads have a wear sensor on them, a thin piece of metal that rubs against the rotors when the brake pads are worn. If you hear a high pitch squeal while driving, you might need new brakes. Another clue is when the brake is applied and a grinding noise is heard. More than likely that sound is created by the thinned brake pads rubbing against the rotors, metal on metal, and can ruin the brake rotors or drums. The vehicle should be checked immediately to avoid more expensive repairs.
Another common problem is warped, or out of round rotors. If you apply the brake and the front end or steering wheel shakes, your rotors may be out of round. Rotors can become warped by excessive heat, riding the brakes, or being torqued improperly. Out of round rotors can be corrected by being “turned” or machined. However all rotors have a minimum thickness and when that is reached they have to be replaced. Machining out of round rotors helps the vehicle stop smoothly and saves wear and tear on front end parts especially the tie rod ends. Having to replace brake rotors can add $300 to $700 to the repair order.
A wheel alignment adjusts a variety of suspension components to help the vehicle drive straight and reduce tire wear. By ‘squaring’ the wheels and suspension, tires have less friction and ride smoother, making it easier and more pleasant to drive. A slight increase in gas mileage may also be noticed.
The most obvious way to determine that you need a wheel alignment is if your steering wheel is not centered. While driving straight, the steering wheel spokes should be straight across, if not you likely need a wheel alignment. Another tell-tale sign is if your car pulls to one side or the other. Briefly and cautiously, release the steering wheel as you drive and if your car doesn’t follow a straight line, a wheel alignment should be considered. Another indicator of wheel misalignment is uneven wear on your tires. Turn your front wheel all the way to one side and turn off the engine. Examine each tire, inside and out, for signs of uneven wear.