How does it work?
There are two main types of braking system: disc brakes and drum brakes. Disc brakes are more common, but drum brakes can still be found on older vehicles.
There are several parts to check in the braking system: the brake pads and the brake discs. It is normal for them to gradually wear over time, so they should be checked regularly.
When should the brake pads be changed?
- Check them around every 20,000 miles.
- When the dashboard wear warning light comes on (see image below), this means that your brake pads are too worn. On vehicles without a wear warning light, you need to check the thickness of the brake pad lining regularly. When this is less than 3 mm you must have your brake pads replaced.
When should the brake discs be changed?
- Check them around every 30,000 miles.
- Change the brake discs immediately if you detect a problem (scuffed, cracked, broken discs, etc.) or when they wear down to the minimum thickness (indicated in your vehicle owner’s manual).
When should the brake fluid be changed?
- Every two years on average.
- When the brake fluid warning light comes on (see image below), it needs changing.
A few warning signs:
- The steering wheel vibrates when you brake.
- The brakes grind and/or squeak.
- The braking distance increases.
- The brake pedal is too hard or too soft.
This article was written with assistance from the Bosch Car Services network of garages.