The brake disc is an essential element in a vehicles braking system. Also known as the rotor, this component is responsible for making contact with the brake pads to create sufficient friction to slow down a vehicle or bring it to a complete stop.
The rotor is made out of an alloy of cast iron and other metals to withstand considerable pressure and heat resulting from friction. However, brake discs are also prone to malfunction, primarily if they are not serviced for a long time.
With the constant friction and pressure generated during braking, the discs are likely to get worn out. Additionally, due to the amount of heat generated by friction, the brake disc can react with water and oxygen elements, which causes them to blemish or form a rusty coat.
Types of Brake Disc Services You Should Know
For guaranteed rotor longevity and functionality, conduct regular checks and disc brake service along with general vehicle servicing. Here are the three main types of disc brake service operations you should conduct.
1. Pad Replacement
Disc brakes have a flat-lining (pad) attached to a metallic plate or a shoe. If the pad/linings are worn out, it is essential to have them replaced. Whether a pad needs replacing depends on its thickness relative to the metal plate/shoe thickness.
If the pad thickness is less than the shoe's thickness, then the pad needs to get replaced. It is essential to have the thickness of the pads checked regularly to avoid brake failure. Thus, whenever you get a chance, have the pads checked.
2. Brake Disc Skimming
If the brake discs have a rust coating or a blemish, skimming is the best service to undertake. Brake disc skimming involves refurbishing the discs by scrubbing the discs' surface to remove any rust or blemish. Then the disc gets a fresh coat of paint or powder coating. After a skimming session, the discs look and work as good as new.
Disc brake skimming has become an affordable method of renewing the brake discs, as it is a cheaper option than purchasing a new set of brake discs.
3. Caliper Assembly Rebuild
Rebuilding the caliper assembly refers to replacing worn-out or damaged parts of the brake calipers. The most common issues with the caliper assembly that signal a need for replacement include:
• Brake fluid leaks from one or more pistons
• Damaged pressure seals
• Worn out dust boots that are no longer pliable
• Dragging brake pads that lead to overheating
Disc brake assembly varies with vehicles, and hence it is advisable to let a seasoned mechanic handle the caliper rebuilding.