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Shake the shakes off

  • Published at 04:55 pm August 23rd, 2016
Shake the shakes off
The unseen yet progressive development in automotive braking system has been crucial to ensuring road safety and by extension, your safety in the vehicle. Hence it is necessary, for the system that ensures we don’t become roadkill, to be well maintained at all times. Any type of sound you hear or vibration you feel when pressing on the brake pedal in your vehicle could be distressing. A high-pitched noise usually indicates to the brake shoes being wet. A few minutes on the road will take care of that, given there isn’t a deeper problem. What’s more worrying is feeling any sort of vibration through the brake pedal. Typically brake pedals vibrate because of uneven wear on the rotor - a circular disk-like object the brake pads press against. If the disk is thinner in particular places, the pads will press on them non-uniformly, sending brake vibrations or shudders through the brake lever. There is also a possibility of dirt and rust building up on the rotor, which causes micro pulsations to be sent through the pedals. A variation of a few thousandths of a centimeter in the rotor’s thickness is enough to rattle the driver. In some cases, the vibration could be so bad that the whole car might shake when the driver hits the breaks. The primary cause of rotor distortion is the brake pads themselves; if they aren’t being completely released when the driver moves his foot off the brake pedal, they drag on the disk, damaging them; in some cases, deeply etching them. Unreleased brake shoes could also be the reason for shrill noises emitting from vehicle. We often resurface our rotors to smooth them out. This involves scraping off metal from the top layer and is commonly known as disk turning. Resurfacing or turning requires a certain thickness of metal in the disk, if too much of the rotor thickness is used up; it’s advisable to replace the rotors instead of grinding more metal off it. Pedal vibration could also be an issue for vehicles with drum brakes. The drums could wear out disproportionately as well and the brake shoes would press against them unevenly. Smoothing out the braking surface could solve this.