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Disc Brakes

Disc Brakes: consider replacing your car parts

What are disc brakes?

A disc brake system on a car consists of three parts: the brake discs, the and the brake pads. The discs are mounted onto the wheel hubs. In general, cars have disc brakes on the front axle and drum brakes on the rear axle.

How do disc brakes work?

The brake fluid (usually DOT 4 or DOT 5) is pressurized and injected into the calipers. The brake pads are fixed into the calipers. The brake fluid then ensures that the brake pads can be pressed against the brake discs so that the vehicle can slow down and eventually come to a standstill.

Please bear in mind: wear due to use. Consequently the brake system ought to be checked for wear signs every 12 400 miles. More recently build vehicles will be equipped with a led light on the dashboard indicating when certain disc brake parts including the brake pads or discs need replacing.

The brake fluid becomes less effective over time as well and needs to be replaced every two to three years, depending on the type of car. Usually you will find information on the brake fluid replacement in the manufacturer’s manual.

There are different kinds of brake discs. Most are made of heat resistant steel however there are also brake discs made of  reinforced carbon(predominantly racecars and aeroplanes) or of ceramics (racecars). A worn brake disc cannot be repaired and therefore needs to be replaced. It is normal for a brake disc to wear, however if their width has decreased 10 to 15%, it becomes dangerous to use them.

When checking your disc brake system, do not forget to look at the brake hoses. These allow the brake fluid to be transported through the entire system. However over time they can crack or perish resulting in leakage.

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