Question from Mary C.: Why should I service my brake pads in my car?

Mary emailed me a question; she went to bring her vehicle in for service that included a tire rotation. The service advisor told her she should have her brake pads removed and serviced because her brakes are dragging, and as a result they are wearing out quickly. She asks: Joe do I really need to service my brakes? I only have 25,000 miles on my car! What are the benefits? Well Mary there are certain benefits to having your brake pads serviced. I tell you what they are but first I will explain to you what happens to cause your brakes to drag.

Pictured above is the bracket that holds you brake pad in position, the black component in the middle is the new brake pad. In the area that you see the red arrows is the area where the brake pad meets the bracket and needs to move freely in that area. In that area the brake pad meets the bracket is lubricated with special synthetic brake grease, and it does not last forever. You also need to know that if you purchased your car new the factory is not that generous with that synthetic brake grease, and your brakes can start to drag quickly. This is a big problem especially here in the northeast with all the road salt that cars are exposed to. So basically what happens is if your brake pads are not moving as they should in the caliper brackets, it mimics driving around with your foot on the brake pedal all of the time.

Here are some of the effects of dragging brake pads.

* Decreased brake pad life expectancy.

* Warped brake rotors due to overheating causing brake vibration.

* Shortened wheel bearing life due to overheating.

* Reduced fuel economy.

* Soft or spongy brake pedal feel.

* Greatly reduced braking performance.

There are some benefits to having your brake pads taken out and serviced; I service the brakes in my personal vehicles annually to get maximum braking performance all year round. You can pay a little now and service your brakes, or pay a lot more later it is entirely up to you. Thanks for your question Mary, I hope my answers helped you.

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