The Tunerworks Service

Brake Pad & Rotor Service


There are numerous components involved in communicating the information from your foot on the brake pedal to the wheels, but when it comes down to actually stopping your vehicle, there are only two major parts to think of: rotors and pads. Here’s how we service them.

Although brakes in modern vehicles look complicated, they are a fundamentally simple system composed of only a few parts. There are numerous components involved in communicating the information from your foot on the brake pedal to the wheels, but when it comes down to actually stopping your vehicle, there are only two major parts to think of: rotors and pads.

When you depress the brake pedal, it is the friction caused by the brake pads squeezing against the rotors that slow your vehicle down. Because of the immense friction, these two components are the ones that receive most of the wear and tear and require regular replacement.

Brake Rotors

Also referred to as “disks” or “discs”, brake rotors are attached to each wheel in your vehicle. The rotors spin with the wheels and are what the brake pads squeeze against to create friction to stop your vehicle. Most rotors are made of cast iron, but you can find rotors in a variety of materials including carbon and ceramic compounds.

Brake Pads

When you depress the brake pedal, the pads, held by the brake calipers, clamp down on the spinning rotors. The harder you press on the brake pedal, the more friction will be created and the more aggressively you will slow down. Most brake pads are made of a mixture of rubber, carbon, fiberglass, and/or Kevlar, all bound together by a resin. You can also find brake pads that are made of ceramic or metal, which offer a different balance of cost, performance, and durability.

Every vehicle will eventually require a brake pad and rotor replacement, but your driving style will play a huge role in how quickly the pads and rotors will break down. Drivers with a “lead foot” will find themselves servicing their pads and rotors more often than drivers with a smooth style.

Do I Need to Do Rotors and Pads Together?

Don’t be surprised if your technician recommends replacing your vehicle’s pads and rotors at the same time, even if that’s not what you’ve usually done. This is actually quite a standard recommendation, and we’ll explain why below.

One of the reasons why a technician may recommend replacing both pads and rotors at the same time is maintenance efficiency. Let’s say your pads are totally cooked and need to come out today, but your rotors still have 10% of their life left. You would be safe to replace the pads, leave the rotors, and drive off having saved a bit of money.

The problem is that after a few weeks of driving, you’ll most likely have to come back to the shop to get the rotors replaced. When you offset the replacement of pads and rotors, you can find yourself spending twice the amount of time getting your brakes serviced as you need.

However, let’s say that you have been working with an offset maintenance schedule for a while and are replacing your pads while your rotors are still at 80%. In this scenario, you may be given the option to keep your existing rotors. The mechanic will also check the evenness of the rotors to make sure that everything is wearing properly.

The best course of action is to seek advice from a service team that you trust; which is why it’s so beneficial to have a consistent shop with which you can form a good working relationship. A good mechanic will provide you with a recommendation with your best interest in mind.

Regular Brake Servicing

When safety is a priority, regular brake services are obviously a vital part of vehicle maintenance. The extreme pressure and friction involved in your braking system result in the gradual degradation of components, which necessitates routine maintenance.

As a rule of thumb, brake pads will need replacement after about 80,000 kilometers. But, depending on your vehicle and driving style, they could need replacement in as little as 40,000 kilometers. Routine maintenance from your mechanic will involve brake inspections, so they will keep you up to date on the status of your brakes, along with the rest of your vehicle’s components.

Drive Confidently with Tunerworks

Whether you need help making your vehicle go or stop, Tunerworks has you covered. Our expert team has decades of combined experience with all makes and models of vehicles, and is excited to offer you personalized service.

We have all been there, as soon as the repair shop mentions the “D” word we automatically associate $$$. Why?… is it due to a past poor experience, or possibly a lack of understanding the value that “diagnosis” provides? Here at Tunerworks we strive to be transparent and sensitive to the diagnosis time spent to pin-point an issue. Consistent and concise communication is our secret sauce. In this article we will share our approach to our diagnostic procedure and how the customer ultimately benefits from money well spent on diagnostic time.

The dreaded check engine light appears on your dash when you least expect it. Some manufactures may even display the message “drive to your nearest workshop”. The general misconception…. the technician will connect the scan tool and the complex “self-diagnosing” computer will say what needs to be replaced? ….Wrong! The on-board-diagnostic (OBD) system will set a code letting the technician know there is a problem, not what the cause of the problem is. It is very unusual the OBD code directly points to an individual failed component. This is where we leave it in the hands of our highly trained and skilled technicians. They use output function tests, live data streams and trained eyes to detect the cause of the CEL.

What does all this mean to you, the customer? Time is money, and I don’t know about you but I don’t have an open checkbook. Our initial diagnostic charge covers an hour of the Technician’s time. This allows the technician to perform the preliminary steps. These include, a test drive with the vehicle to confirm the customer complaint to gain a full understanding of the problem, computer scan, visual inspection of the area in question, live data analysis, output function tests and a submission to tech support (if required). After an hour the Technician’s report will be sent to the customer with the results and findings. One of two actions will be offered: an estimate with the recommended repair or a request for another hour of diagnostic time with a full description of the suggested diagnostic test plan. The value in “D” time prevents the unnecessary replacement of parts which will ultimately cost you more money in the long run.

Tunerworks prides our selves on our customer service by allowing the customers to make fully informed decisions guided by the Technician’s diagnostic information. The customer ultimately is in control of the entire process and maybe in some cases learns a thing or two about their vehicle! We hope to see you next time your vehicle is in need of some expert diagnosis.