Brake issues might be the last thing you want to deal with on a road trip but many problems can be easily fixed – find out our top 5 ways to repair your own brakes while travelling.
If you are on a road trip and suddenly notice that your brakes behave not in the way they should, say, the stopping distance became longer or you hear a squealing noise while applying brakes or you feel how your steering wheel shudders when you slow down – probably you are experiencing some brake issues that need immediate attention.
No worries! Most of the repairs can be carried out without a professional help.
Brakesshop.co.uk, Britain’s leading online shop of brake parts and accessories, shares simple DIY tips how you can easily repair your brakes to safely continue your trip.
Your car’s brake system: What can go wrong?
Unless you have replaced your brakes recently, the reasons for a grinding or squealing noise can be many.
Most often the noise is caused by dust.
When it covers brake pads, cooling channels can get blocked up and cause a noise when the car slows down. This refers to both disc brakes and drum brakes.
Simple DIY brake repair steps: What do I do right away?
To clean your brakes, you’ll need the following tools:
- Jack stands and a floor jack
- Socket and ratchet set
- Brake grease
- Brake cleaner
- Flat screwdriver
#1. Firstly detect the wheel the noise originates from
Probably, you’ll need a help of another person (noise ‘listener’).
#2. Park your car on an even ground
To lift the problem end of the car with a jack, loosen wheel nuts first. Then put the jack stands under the car for your safety.
Remove a wheel and inspect your brakes. The pad must be thick enough, and the disc mustn’t have any signs of damage. If so, the only noise-causing issue is the brake dust.
#3. So let’s start.
Use your tools to loose a lower calliper slide bolt, take off the calliper and remove the pads with a flat blade screwdriver. (The calliper housing must also be removed.)
Carefully inspect the pads for signs of uneven wear or dust build-up. If you see that the pad wear is even, you only need to clean pads (edges and face) with a piece of sandpaper and then with brake cleaner. Let them dry.
#4. Now it’s time to examine the brake disc
If you find the disc in a good condition, just clean it with brake cleaner and wipe. Then you grease brake pads (top and bottom) with brake grease and attach them to the calliper bracket.
Then reinsert the calliper housing and put the calliper back down. Remount wheels and test your brakes to see if the noise has gone.
#5. What to do if your disc and pads condition is far from good?
If you have noticed that your steering wheel shudders when you slow down, then you are likely to find your brake discs pretty worked. If you see cracks or damaged (uneven) surface, the disc requires replacement.
Brake disc damages are usually accompanied by uneven pad wear, so if you find one, pads must be replaced. The calliper is under suspicion too.
This is a guest post – we hope it will help you if you experience any brake issues while travelling.