- FILS AUTO CENTER
Brake pads do a lot of work to stop your car and tend to need the most attention. The friction material on the brake pad will wear down over time and use. You'll know the brake pads are ready to be replaced if you experience any of these conditions:
Decreased braking performance: As the brake pad friction material wears thin, braking efficiency can decrease, leading to increased stopping distances. This can be dangerous as an extra foot or two of braking distance can be enough to cause an accident. Inspect the brake pads and entire braking system if you are suspicious of this condition.
Squealing: This noise is there for you. It's not fun to hear, but the pads have a metal sensor that's made to squeal when they are almost worn out. Some vehicles are equipped with electronic brake pad sensors. When the pad wears down, the sensor will turn on a dash warning light.
Grinding: If you hear a grinding sound most likely the brake pad metal backing has come in contact with the brake rotor because of worn friction material. Immediate attention should be given to the brake system. At this time, you should consider brake pad and rotor replacement. The extra money spent to ensure the best braking performance could make a life or death difference in sudden stopping situations.
Disc brake systems, which usually appear on the front two wheels of a vehicle (and often the rear as well), use brake rotors. The brake rotor attaches directly to the steering spindle or wheel bearing hub assembly. When brake pads apply enough pressure to the rotors, they slow or stop the vehicle. Brake rotors are subject to extreme pressure and temperature during braking, so ensuring you have well-maintained and high quality rotors is key to braking safety.
Catalytic converters are located in the exhaust system between the engine and the muffler, and they are one of the last lines of defense against air pollution from vehicles. They use ceramic-coded beads and various precious metals (the catalysts) to convert pollutants like unburned gas and nitrogen oxide into harmless gases.
Catalytic converters often last for 10 years or more, but they can become contaminated, clogged, overheated or physically damage, leading to sluggish engine performance and, eventually, engine shutdown. One potential contaminant is leaded gas, which can destroy the catalysts, although it is rarely found in the U.S. Others contaminants include engine coolant, which can leak into the combustion system because of a faulty cylinder head gasket, and engine oil. Those fluids can clog a catalytic converter so that exhaust gases are restricted from passing through. Car engines are like athletes in that they require lots of oxygen. If the exhaust flow is restricted, it means less air can get into the engine and performance suffers. If the engine responds sluggishly or quits after running for a while, a clogged converter could be to blame. Catalytic converters can overheat because of excessive amounts of unburned gas caused by a misfiring spark plug or a leaky exhaust valve. In addition, a failed oxygen sensor can cause overheating. On many vehicles, the “cat” is located under the vehicle, and like other parts of the exhaust system, it can also be damaged by road debris or by running over a curb.