How to maintain your braking system

picture of tyre mark on the road

What does a car braking system consist of?

Certain cars, such as town cars still on the road today, have disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear.

But most cars today have disc brakes all-round. They work using hydraulic pressure: pistons are used to apply the brake pads to the discs, which are fixed to the wheel. When you press the brake pedal, your vehicle will slow down, and even come to a stop.

How can you check the condition of your brakes?

When driving your car, your safety is primarily guaranteed by your braking system, and efficient functioning is a priority. The first wear victim of the system is the front brake pads. They have a service life of around 40,000 km, and must be changed when wear reduces them to under 2 mm. Reckon on 60,000 km for the rear pads, as braking energy is absorbed mainly by the front pads.

The brake discs themselves have a lifespan of almost twice that of the pads. As a result, we recommend changing your front discs at around 60,000 km and at around 120,000 km for the rear. Obviously, these recommendations vary with your driving style or also your environmental driving conditions.

Brake fluid

For optimum maintenance of your brake fluid, carry out a check every three months. The fluid level must be between “min” and “max”. We recommend you have your brake fluid changed every two years or 50 000 km. When the level drops to the minimum mark, have your brake pads checked. If there is wear, change them. The brake fluid reservoir level will rise automatically. Remember that changing the brake fluid is compulsory if the discs and brake pads are changed.

  • The brake light comes on
  • Your brakes get hot
  • Your braking distance is longer
  • Your brakes make an unusual noise
  • Your vehicle drifts under braking
  • You feel vibration when braking
  • Your vehicle judders when braking

Trust your car service book which sets out the car manufacturer’s recommendations most suited to your vehicle for your braking system. If your vehicle must undergo the annual roadworthiness test, it is essential to check your braking system.