Brake Rotor Problems

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Disc brakes are called disc brakes because of the big metal disc – or rotor – that spins with the wheel. The brake pads rub against the rotor to slow the vehicle. In technical terms, the motion energy of the moving vehicle is transferred into heat energy by the brakes. The job of the rotor is to absorb that heat and dissipate it into the atmosphere. To do that effectively, the rotor needs a certain amount of mass (measured by the thickness of the rotor) and a good surface to mate with the brake pads. Let’s talk about those two things.

First is the thickness. A new rotor is nice and thick. It can absorb a lot of heat and dissipate it effectively. Over time, the rotor will wear away slightly. If it wears away too much, there is not enough metal to take care of this heat transfer and the vehicle will not brake as well. In fact, each rotor is stamped with the minimum thickness the rotor must have. When the rotor reaches this “discard thickness”, it must be replaced.

Next in our consideration is the rotor surface. Now this is not just about the quality of the rotor’s surface, but also about how evenly the brake pad sweeps the rotor. Several things can affect the “swept area” of the rotor. A common problem is a scored – or scratched – rotor. When brake pads wear passed the point in which they should be replaced, metal parts of the brake can come in contact with the rotors and grind grooves into the rotor. Imagine putting new brake pads on a scored rotor. The pad would only contact the ridges. This can significantly reduce the contact area and hurt braking performance. When a rotor has been scored, it may be able to be resurfaced on a brake lathe which smooths the surface. If the rotor is not thick enough to be resurfaced, it must be replaced.

Another common rotor problem is something called run out. This is when the rotor is slightly off axis (crooked) so the brake pads do not contact the rotor fully and evenly. Run out is measured in thousandths of an inch, so we are talking very small variations that can affect braking. Run out can be caused by a bit of dirt or rust between the brake rotor and the wheel hub, or even by slight variations in the mating surfaces of the brake and hub. Your technician can determine the cause and take the appropriate measures to restore proper brake pad contact.

When run out is not detected and corrected early, the rotor itself can wear unevenly leading to thickness variations. This condition is called parallelism because the inboard and outboard surfaces of the rotor are no longer parallel. The variations are small, measured in 10 thousandths of an inch, but they can significantly affect braking performance because of limited brake pad contact. This condition used to be referred to as “warped” rotors, but that term is inaccurate. If the rotor is still thick enough, the brake technician will correct the underlying run out problem and resurface the rotor to restore the contact surface. If the rotor is severely worn it must be replaced.

So, if you hear a grinding sound when you brake, get your brakes inspected at Texas Auto as soon as you can to avoid possible rotor damage. With run out and parallelism, you may feel a pulsation in the pedal as you brake. If you feel a pulsation or if your pedal feels unusually soft or hard, bring your vehicle in for an inspection. A qualified brake technician at Texas Auto using quality brake parts can get you safely running – and stopping –as soon as possible.

SERVICE HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8AM-6PM / SATURDAY 9AM-3PM 

CONTACT TEXAS AUTO SERVICE (281) 938-2059

SCHEDULE SERVICE NOW

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Brake Rotor Problems

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How do I know which tires to get?

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Let’s look at selecting new tires in light of three factors: Function, Fit, and Value.

Function: This gets at what your needs are for new tires: weather conditions, terrain, temperatures, etc.

Most new family vehicles in come with all-season tires. They can be used all year long and do pretty well in most road conditions – but they aren’t ideal at the extremes.

Winter tires have a more aggressive tread for handling snow and ice on roads and they have a rubber compound that helps them have better traction as temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit. Definitely better stopping and road-holding characteristics for than all-season tires in winter weather. Dedicated summer tires enhance warm weather performance driving for .

If you drive off-road around , there is a wide spectrum of tires from all-terrain (a good mix of highway and off-road capability) to dedicated off-road tires.

The key is to your Texas Auto tire professional and the function you need to get the type of tire, load rating, speed rating and wear rating you need.

Fit: The easiest thing is to tires in the same size that were installed by the manufacturer. If you want a different size wheel or tire profile, be sure to work with your Texas Auto so you can make sure that your new wheels and tires fit properly and don’t rub in bumps or turns. It’s also to make sure that important safety systems like anti-lock brakes, stability control and traction control aren’t adversely affected by the new tire size (the computer may need to be recalibrated to make necessary adjustments).

Value: Note, I didn’t say price. The tire that meets all your needs AND has the warranty and tread life you expect will not be the least option – but it may well return the best value for your tire dollar.

Texas Auto tire professionals help with this automotive decision.

SERVICE HOURS: MONDAY-FRIDAY 8AM-6PM / SATURDAY 9AM-3PM 

CONTACT TEXAS AUTO SERVICE (281) 938-2059

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How do I know which tires to get?

FIVE CAR MAINTENANCE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS

Almost everyone makes New Year’s resolutions.  Most people rarely keep up with them. Have you ever done a New Year’s resolution when it came to caring for your car? We all need our cars in order for travel, work, shop, etc. Therefore, we need our cars to be running. While you may resolve in 2016 to be in better shape, to read more, to spend more time with family…..think about resolving to be a better car owner, too.

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Five very simple New Year’s resolutions to ensure you keep your car in top shape throughout the coming year.

1 – I RESOLVE to schedule two checkups for my car in 2016 

Regardless of how well you think you know your car, a well-trained (and certified) technician can always spot things ahead of time that you might miss. Taking time to have your car checked twice a year may seem a bit much, but preventative maintenance at the hands of a qualified professional is cheap insurance.

2 – I RESOLVE to keep my car clean in 2016

Dirt and grime can act like sand paper, creating unnecessary abrasion that can wear down upholstery and carpeting. So vacuum your car on a regular basis and wipe down surfaces with a cleaner.

3 – I RESOLVE to check on my car’s tires and wheels in 2016

If your tires have worn unevenly or your wheels are unbalanced, vibration can cause excess stress on suspension components. Excess stress on certain car parts can mean extra trips to the mechanic and potentially hefty bills. Avoid this by checking to make sure the tread on your tires are wearing evenly – and taking your car in if it’s not.

4 – I RESOLVE to keep up with my car’s fluid changes in 2016

Checking your car’s fluids is a must. While some fluids like brake fluid, clutch fluid and coolant may not require attention as often as oil, they’re just as important.  Take a day each month to make sure all of your fluids are topped off.

5 – I RESOLVE to address my car’s minor problems early

It’s easy to hear a strange noise in your car and hope that it will go away. Unfortunately, this rarely happens. Don’t put off minor maintenance or easy repair work. Doing so can lead to larger problems and larger repair bills in the end.

 

Service hours: Monday-Friday 8AM-6PM / Saturday 9AM-3PM 

Contact Texas Auto Service (281) 938-2059

SCHEDULE SERVICE NOW

FIVE CAR MAINTENANCE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS