How do you know when you need brake pads replaced or rotors?

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posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 06:30 AM
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I got this grinding sound that happens when I brake as I turn, or slow down. Oddly enough it doesn't happen at high speeds and its a new thing. I'm taking it into Midas ASAP (i'm staying up so i can get in when they open), but how do you know from listening if you just need new brake pads or if you need new rotors? The vechicle itself is just fine; it'll stop just the same, etc etc, but make that grinding sound, like metal on metal.




posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:13 AM
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When ya hit the break and dont stop!

Maybe you've got something stuck to the caliper thats grinding against the disk, maybe some grit or something??



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:32 AM
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Could be. I had a random screeching a long time ago, one day, and the guy said it was probably just dust in the brakes. Turned out it was, cause nothing ever happened after that. I did come back from a 200 mile round trip across new mexico. I'll find out what it is at Midas.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:36 AM
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its brake pads dude......get them changed quick or it will score the discs....easy way to check is take the wheel off and look at the pads in the calliper...you should be able to see them worn down to nothing but the plates there mounted on.

good luck.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:38 AM
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Okay. Do either you happen to know when Midas Automotive opens up in yoru area? The website doesn't have hours and they're not answering where I am (its 7 am).



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 01:35 PM
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I went in. here's the what was wrong:

Pads worn down to the bone

Clippers loose, were grinding into the rotor gear/teeth

Whole bunch of rear dust (not sure if they're going to clean that)

Price: $417

need, two new rotors, brake pads and some minor hardware. Looking at the labor charges, it looked good. I pick the vechicle up today at 5pm.

EDIT- I visually inspected the damage myself. It did look kinda "bad." Strange thing is that the car ran just fine. THe guy said I was running on virtually no breaks (should've taken it in three days ago) and it was unsafe to drive.



[edit on 14-7-2005 by ktprktpr]



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:10 PM
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The car can run perfectly and still have no breaks. Just remember that when you have that grinding to check ur break pads.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 03:33 PM
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Whoa.. $417 for rotors and pads...What car do you drive?

CarX quoted me $305 for the same problem. I bought pads and rotors online and had a mechanic fix it (I tried doing it myself but did not have all the tools). They charged me an hour worth of labor. Got every thing (parts + labor) for around $140. The only drawback was the parts weren't original Toyota but even CarX did not have the original ones.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 06:21 PM
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Ha ha, i can get a pair of brake pads for $20 and spend about an hours worth of labor to do them myself.

btw, most often it is a good idea to change both sides at the same time so you brake evenly



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 06:45 PM
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At the moment in one of my limos it's the grinding noise that gives it away.




posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:07 PM
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When it comes to brake work I suggest you have someone teach you how to do it, or buy a "haynes automotive repair manual" for the make, and model of your automobile. That book will show you how to identify, and fix almost ANY problem you'll encounter with your automobile. When you learn to work on your own car, you save money left, and right.

Brakes are one of the easier things to work with on a regular car/truck. I was lucky enough to have my older brother show me how to work on my truck when I was 18, so that knowledge has been with me ever since.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:08 PM
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Originally posted by Jehosephat
Ha ha, i can get a pair of brake pads for $20 and spend about an hours worth of labor to do them myself.


Hey go laugh it up your ass and out your mom.

They charged me 128 for labor which is good and 261 for parts. The 261 got there cause they charged me 93.99 twice for the brake rotors. I see now they should've been half that, but all the other prices check out. Anyway, thanks to all that provided sound advice, including jehosphat. I drive a ford contour.



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by microcosm
When it comes to brake work I suggest you have someone teach you how to do it, or buy a "haynes automotive repair manual" for the make, and model of your automobile. That book will show you how to identify, and fix almost ANY problem you'll encounter with your automobile. When you learn to work on your own car, you save money left, and right.

Brakes are one of the easier things to work with on a regular car/truck. I was lucky enough to have my older brother show me how to work on my truck when I was 18, so that knowledge has been with me ever since.


this i will do, but how would you lift your car up? A simple jack is safe enough?

EDIT- for thjose intersted in Haynes manuals: www.haynes.com...

[edit on 14-7-2005 by ktprktpr]



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:21 PM
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Originally posted by ktprktpr
but how would you lift your car up? A simple jack is safe enough?

It's best if you have at least two or three jacks....That way, when the need arises, you can prop your car up on cinder blocks real quick and not have to worry about all that crap.....

I'd agree though - I have a close friend of mine who learned how to replace rotors and brakes - It's VERY simple and real quick to do - Best of all, buying the parts directly from the part shop is cheap....

You can slightly extend the life of your brakes by occasionally flipping the pads over.....As you wear one side down, flip it to the opposite side to get the maximum life out of it....



posted on Jul, 14 2005 @ 07:50 PM
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Call CarTalk!



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 03:49 AM
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Originally posted by EnronOutrunHomerun

It's best if you have at least two or three jacks....That way, when the need arises, you can prop your car up on cinder blocks real quick and not have to worry about all that crap.....

I'd agree though - I have a close friend of mine who learned how to replace rotors and brakes - It's VERY simple and real quick to do - Best of all, buying the parts directly from the part shop is cheap....



I would invest in a pair of jackstands, if I plan to work a lot on my car. No way I am going under a car resting on two jacks.. Jacks are not that stable..

Changing brakes is not very difficult but, if your car is old then there is a possibility of rusting and the rotors being difficult to get out. My mechanic had to tap a sledgehammer toget the rotors out....


A silly question: How many brakepads/rotors/drums does a 18 wheeler have?



posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 04:12 AM
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this i will do, but how would you lift your car up? A simple jack is safe enough?


What type of jack is it? If it's a tire jack, it should ONLY be used for changing tires. It's dangerous to use any jack by itself.

Theres 3 things you should familiarize yourself with before getting under a car:

1)Your floor jack, and/or tire jack. (There is a huge difference between the two.)
2)Tire chocks, if you have them.
3)Jack stands.


Floor/tire jack

Jacks (no matter what type) are pretty straight foward. Put it under something, and then "jack it up". Some things you should know before jacking your car up is:

1)The maximum weight limit for the jack.
2)The proper place to jack your car up from.

The weight limit one is obvious. If the car is to heavy for the jack, you risk having it fail on you... which can result in pricey repair bills, and pain... lots of pain.

The proper place to jack your car up is not so obvious. This information can be found in the "haynes book", or your vehicles "owner's guide". Generally you want to jack the car up from the frame, never jack the car up from the floor boards, bumpers, or pipes/hoses (that ones obvious, yet I've seen it done.)

Something I learned real quick was: when lowering the car with a (hydraulic) floor jack, you usually have to twist a small screw to release the hydraulic pressure. Twist the screw slowly, and let the car drop slowly (not slow like a snail, but not at mach 5 either), if you twist the screw out to fast, or to much, you risk having the hydraulic fluid leak out, or getting air in it.




Tire chocks
Almost everyone has seen a tire chock in there life... (most of the time you see them under airplane tires.) A tire chock is an object used to prevent the car from rolling. They're usually cheap, and VERY simple to use. You place it behind the tire, and thats it... your done.

When you jack up the car, you have alot of weight sitting on the tires that are not jacked up... in the event the brakes failed, or enough force pushed the car in that direction (wind, somebody leaning on the car, etc) the jack can tip over... hopefully with you not under the car. With the tire chocks there the wheels will not move, and the car has virtually no chance of "rolling off the jack/jack tipping".

Most people have never heard of a tire chock, or simply don't have one. In this case, most people improvise using bricks, or lumber placed behind the tire. This is usually just as effective as a tire chock... but in my opinion it's best to spend the $6 something, and buy a cheap set of chocks.




Jack stand
A jack stand is extremely important if your going to be working under your vehicle. Never, I repeat never get under a car, supported only by a jack. These stands are specifically made for holding up your car (at a fixed height) for extended periods of time. They're pretty straight foward... you raise the car up with a floor jack, and then slide these under your car. Remember to check the manual for proper placement. You don't want these things punching holes through your floor boards.


Some people just use a jack to do car work, and they never experiance problems. The choice is theirs to make on whether they want to use jackstands, and chocks... I myself choose to use them because it's the proper, and safest way to do it. Ever since I was a kid helping my dad build tree houses in the back, he's always told me "if you don't got the proper tools, you make the job harder for yourself." Thats another thing that stuck with me I guess...


Price
If you don't have these items, but want to get them. You may want to do a little bit of price comparing first.

I've seen chocks as low as $6.99, and as high as $25 per single chock. They all work the same, the differences lie in the materials they're made from. The metal ones can rust, and the rubber/synthetic ones are light, and weather proof. As was mentioned before though, you can improvise (w/ bricks/lumber), just be smart about it though...

Jack stand prices vary too... depending on the maximum weight limit they can be $24.99 to $119.99... the cheaper it is the less weight they carry. cheaper ones usually hold 2 1/4 ton vehicles, while really expensive ones can usually hold up to 12 tons. Get what you're cars weight is going to need, unless you plan on buying a monster truck in the near future... lol

Tire jacks usually come with your car. Usually found with the spare tire. It looks like a spring from "super mario world" if you remember that game. They're really meant just for changing tires. They can usually be found pretty cheap (a couple of bucks) at auto stores.

A floor jack is usually hydraulic (allthough I've seen pneumatic ones). They often include wheels, and a long lever. If you've ever watched a nascar pit crew, you've definitely seen a floor jack. Just like Jack stands, the prices will vary depending on maximum weight limit. Get what you feel best applies to you.


Cores (A MUST READ, LITTLE KNOWN FACT...)

If you're changing your calipers, most auto stores will reimburse you for your cores. If they give you the option DO IT. Core reimbursment is when you give them your old brake calipers, and they give you store credit, or cash. (Pep boys will usually give you cash...) Most of the times they just take calipers, but I've heard cases where they'll give you money for your rotors, and pads too. (I'm sorta doubtful about that though...) The money you get back can range anywhere from $10 to $100+ depending on condition, make, and model of the calipers. I got $40 (per caliper) from my Ford Taurus SHO calipers (stock). I've seen seriously old, high performance Brembo's go as high as $120 per caliper.

End note

I know you didn't ask for that whole essay, but I guess I was feeling pretty talkative. To simply answer your original question... "Is just a jack safe enough?"

Well if it's a tire jack, yes it's safe for changing tires.
If it's a floor jack, it's safe as long as you use common sense, and think safety first. If you don't have tire chocks use lumber. If you don't have jack stands, I imagine cinder blocks would be the next best thing. Just be smart about it. Safety first man... you're sitting next to a 1.5+ ton piece of metal, being held up in the air by a 10lb piece of metal...

If you're NOT taking off your tires, there's an alternative to jack stands/jacks. Use a tire ramp (they do not cost much at all). you can roll the car up the ramps, and it'll usually lift the car about a 12-18 inches inches off the ground. This should give you enough room to work with.


Perfect example. Just remember that if your using a car, you will not be getting as much clearance as that truck. Also notice the cinder blocks in the back, being used as chocks.

Random tip?
If you're looking for a hard to find part, and the autopart stores don't seem to have it... try calling your nearest car manufacturers dealer. I was looking for a caliper spring for my SHO's brakes... no auto part store had it in stock, but my local ford dealer had it sitting in the parts room. They gave it to me for free too!

If you ever need any help, or advice when it comes to car maintenance feel free to U2U me, I'll try to help you out the best that I can. I would never call myself a mechanic, but I will say I am a car enthusiast, and I love working on em... and making them go fast. (At the track of course... street racing is rediculous to me... :shk: )

Once again, sorry for this huge post. Once you get me started talking about cars I just won't stop...

[edit on 7/15/05 by microcosm]



posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 02:50 PM
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You have voted microcosm for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have one more vote left for this month.

'nuff said.

I am now an enlightened man. And I may be u2u'ing you soon. I should buy that Haynes manual.

[edit on 17-7-2005 by ktprktpr]



posted on Jul, 17 2005 @ 03:02 PM
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I avoid the dealer when ever possible for getting my car parts. There is a local parts shop that gives me repair shop prices on most "wear" parts, and especialyl ones I can return a core with.

Usually I put a block of wood between the Jack stands and the car, ads a little more stability and doesn't wreck the undercoating (An important thing for northen lattitude inhabitants where it snows every year)

The big key tho is finding a parts store that gives you good prices on parts, and doesn't make you wait 1 or 2 days to get them.

Btw, I have no clue how you "flip" brake pads to extend thierlife. I would worry about getting uneven braking by doing that and could cause some caliper or disk damage. Not to metion the time spent doing it wouldn't be worth it IMHO

$99 dollars for a break pad seems kind of steep, but the do sell them by the pair which is why it is bettert to have both sides break pads replaced.





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