Toyota Brake Service in Rhode Island
Maintaining the braking system on your Toyota is crucial to ensuring the safety of yourself and your passengers, as well as everyone on the road around you. The best way to do this is to have the brakes checked regularly, and when they need service, to use Toyota factory parts. With Genuine Toyota brakes, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that each part is designed for your vehicle, and they’ll be as effective as the original components. Below, you will find some basic information on how your brakes work, what causes brake wear and how to address it, and how often you should have a Toyota technician check your brakes.
The Basics Behind Your Brakes
Your braking system is not as complicated as it might seem, and it’s worth understanding how the parts work together to stop the vehicle. In a nutshell, when you apply pressure to the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is sent to the calipers through a system of lines and cylinders, and the calipers close the brake pads over the rotors to slow down the wheels with friction. The brake pads, which are made mostly of metallic material, are specifically designed to take the brunt of the heat resulting from this friction.
General Wear and Tear
Just like tires, brakes will inevitably wear down as you drive. The dark discoloration you may notice on your wheels is brake dust: the fine particles of your brake pads disintegrating over time. Rotors also wear down from the friction and heat generated during the braking process, and sometimes even from environmental conditions. For example, if you live in an area where salt is used on the roads during winter storms, or even if you live very close to the ocean, salt can cause pitting on the metal of the rotors. This uneven texture diminishes stopping time and can also cause the vehicle to shudder or shimmy during braking. Individual driving habits also have an effect on brakes, such as riding them (keeping your foot on the pedal unnecessarily), applying excessive force, or habitually making abrupt stops.
How can you tell if your brakes are failing? The most obvious signal is if your Toyota’s brake warning light turns on. Other signs include grinding and/or squealing when you brake, feeling the car pulling to one side, increased stopping distance, or a spongy or soft feeling when you press down on the brake pedal.
Recommended Service Interval
As mentioned above, individual driving habits affect how quickly brakes wear down, but the general rule is that they should be inspected at least every 10,000 miles. In between those checkups, just watch and listen for the aforementioned warning signs and take action as soon as you notice anything abnormal. Regular maintenance done by a Toyota-certified technician is the best plan to ensure a long and effective life for your brakes.