When vehicles are not being used, brake disc corrosion happens over time. Even if it’s only been a few days, you will notice that your discs may have a surface of rust. This especially happens if you live next to the sea.
While not using the car for a few days, it is very important to ensure the car is driven a few miles every so often to ensure nothing starts to seize and to keep the brakes clean on the surfaces.
Best ways to maintain the health of your brakes
Once rust starts to ingress and the worse it gets, the less efficient your brakes will be. It’s best to carry out these little procedures to save money in the long run, so you don’t have to replace the brakes as often as everyone else who doesn’t look after their car.
Doing this also ensures the brakes are at the correct operating performance, even when the car isn’t being used. This will help in the life dependency of your brakes and other parts.
Parts start to seize up and corrode when your vehicle is sitting doing nothing for days. This is what you don’t want because this can cause seizing issues with many moving components on your vehicle. This includes your brake callipers, which have pistons that move in and out.
The lack of use can cause callipers to stop sliding as you press the brake, resulting in a seizure from lack of use on most moving components. Corroded brakes can also cause bad noises, such as grinding metal to metal noise. This is the build-up of rust on the braking surface.
Drive your car regularly!
Preventing rust is important, especially if you live near the sea. Rust is bad for metal, as you may already know! If you see rust on your brake discs, give your car a runaround and brake regularly, this will remove the rust before it gets worse. It’s important to do this at least every other day.
Don’t brake harshly
Don’t brake all of the time harshly. When braking, slowly ease your foot on the pedal where suitable. This will prevent you from wearing down your pads and make them last much longer.
Replace pads if they get low
This is important! If you allow the metal from your pads to touch your brakes, you will also need to replace the brake discs. This is where it gets expensive. Brake discs generally last a lot longer than pads.
How to clean brake discs
A brake cleaner is very good for cleaning your brakes, most motor vehicle-related stores will usually have brake cleaner in stock, but this will not clean rust off the brake disc surfaces, only dust and dirt. You will have to drive the vehicle and apply the brakes a good few times to clean the surface rust off.
NOTE: DO NOT SPRAY DISC CLEANER ON HOT BRAKE DISCS AS IT IS VERY FLAMMABLE.
How can I protect brake discs?
Is there a way for someone to protect their discs?
You can protect your brake discs by driving them frequently every other day and applying the brakes a good few times as long as it is safe.
This will stop the build-up and pitting of the rust on the disc. You can get a powder paint spray and a thin layer on your brakes, which will then be removed when you start driving and applying brakes a few times.
We keep seeing everywhere that people recommend painting the brake discs with something. What is your expert advice?
Dust & stones
One main reason your car brakes squeak is because of dust and stones lodged between your brake pads and discs. most vehicles are fitted with dust covers behind the brake disc, but it is possible for a stone to stick between the disc and the plate, and if it’s very well lodged in there, it can damage the disc and cause deep grooves in the surface
Brake pads are low
Some manufacturers cause their brakes to squeak when they are low and should be replaced.
Dust build-up on the brakes
Dust build-up on your brakes can make the squeak, and dust can trap air between your discs and pads as the air can’t escape when brakes are applied and will let off a squeak.
Glazed discs can cause squeaky brakes due to them not being worn in correctly when new brakes have been fitted or can be glazed from the brakes being overheated and cooled too many times and too frequently.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to replace disc brakes?
The average price to replace disc brakes is around $50-75 per rotor & around $150 per axle.
It’s worth noting that prices will vary greatly depending on which auto shop/mechanic you visit, as they all charge different rates.
How do I know if my brake discs are worn?
As explained earlier, there are many ways to determine if your disc brakes are worn. The most common way to check is to see if your brake disc is unevenly worn or if it has noticeable score marks. If this is the case then you need to replace your brake discs.
How long do brake discs last?
On average, brake discs can last for around 50,000 miles. Although this varies greatly depending on your driving habits as well as the quality of the brake disc.
Should I replace brake discs together or all at once?
You should definitely replace the 2 front or 2 rear brake discs together, not necessarily all at once unless you have a 4×4 vehicle.
If you only replace one brake disc at a time while another is worn down, you’ll greatly reduce the lifespan of the newly replace brake disc and experience uneven braking when braking in your vehicle.
Can I replace brake pads myself?
Sure, you can if you’re confident enough to do so. Although we highly recommend doing your research beforehand. Consult your owner’s manual before you do any work on the car.
Many of these explanations should have helped with the possibility that your brake discs may be corroding. Hopefully, the suggestions on how to prevent brake disc corrosion have helped you! Got any personal tips or tricks that have worked for you? Let us know in the comments!