One of the most common maintenance services that any car needs is without a doubt a brake job. Whether it’s changing worn down brake pads to upgrading to a performance brake system, here at Future Auto Service we have done it all on any make and model. In this Blog Post we are going to shed more light on the best way to save money on your next brake job. Franchise Service Centers might not tell you this valuable information, so stick around and find out how to get the most life out of your rotors to save yourself big money!
Service Intervals of Basic Brake System Components
The most basic components that you should service on your brake system consist of the brake pads, brake fluid, and brake rotors. While service intervals are dependent on your driving behavior and vehicle spec, you can expect to change brake pads every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. Brake fluid on the other hand, tends to last longer and a change is required about every two years or 45,000 miles. Brake rotors are due around 50,000 to 75,000 miles.
Most common brake system component intervals (depending on driving habits and car spec)
- Brake Pads - Every 15,000 to 30,000 miles
- Brake Rotors - Every 50,000 to 75,000 miles
- Brake Fluid - Every 2 Years or 45,000 miles
While brake pads and fluid change are straight forward replacements, rotors make up an interesting subject in the car service world. Should you replace them when changing the brake pads? How long are they really good for?
Brake Rotors Explained.
So you might ask yourself, what is the purpose of brake rotors anyway? In simple terms, brake rotors are the circular discs connected to each wheel that turn kinetic energy of the spinning wheel into thermal energy (heat) as they get in contact with the brake pads while you press the brake pedal. This process allows the car to slow down. While your engine accelerates your car, brake pads and rotors decelerate. The more power your car has, the bigger the breaks are to keep everything in balance. Since brake pads and rotors touch each other several hundred times during even short drives, imagine the wear and tear on the parts after thousands of miles.
How do I Know When My Rotor Needs Replacement?
- It takes you longer than usual to come to a stop
- Squeaking noise when pressing the brake pedal
- Warning light on the dash
- Vibrating or pulsing when braking
- Grooves or marks on the brake rotor
After many brake cycles, brake pads and rotors will wear down. Rotor “glazing” can develop a braking surface. The easiest way to tell if your brake rotors need service is when it takes you longer than usual to come to a stop while driving or your car vibrates and pulses when braking. A warning light on the dash or squeaking noise when decelerating also are clear signs. Visually speaking, marks or grooves on the rotor itself might indicate the need for service. If you are unsure, bring your car to a qualified service center such as Future Auto Service for an inspection.
Normally, you have the following options to service your brakes:
- Replace brake pads & rotors together
- Replace just the brake pads & resurface the rotors
After a thorough inspection of both, the brake rotors and pads, option Nr.1 is the most common way to go about a brake job. But it is also the most expensive. While rotors tend to last longer than brake pads, your service advisor might recommend just a pad replacement at the time of your brake service. However, if a specialist determines your rotors need to be replaced, it is important to consider your available options. Many franchise dealerships won’t tell you, but more than likely you won’t need to replace your rotors as long as the material has enough thickness and structural integrity. Most Service centers stick to the manufacturer’s intervals for brake rotor replacement without considering remaining thickness because charging a customer for new rotors makes them more money. It’s simple business.
We at Future Auto Service care about our customers, including the money they have to spend on keeping their car on the road. That’s why we offer brake rotor resurfacing which is only a fraction of the cost of a full rotor replacement.
Our Hunter Engineering® Resurfacing tool offers a quick and easy way to restore your rotors to like-new condition. Check out our Instagram for an exclusive behind the scenes on how we resurface rotors!
Rotor Resurfacing With Our Hunter AutoComp Elite®
This is by far not your regular Brake Lather. It is suitable for on-car resurfacing which means our technicians don’t need to take off the entire rotor to resurface it. All we have to do is simply take off your wheel and we are ready to go!
Using universal adapters that fit every vehicle and our digital calculation tool that measures rotor thickness and depth of the cut in a matter of milliseconds, we can guarantee the highest quality rotor resurfacing service in Burbank. On top of that our machine has plenty of power, over 50% more than your conventional Brake Lather. That saves our technicians time and labor, which results in more money in your pocket! Sounds compelling? Call us today or set up an appointment for a personal quote!