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Brakes are key to your driving safety, but we are often asked questions about brakes feeling spongy, taking longer to stop or even grinding noise from the front or rear brakes. You and your Renault car or van are Welcome to visit Holdcroft Renault Stoke-on-Trent or Holdcroft Renault Crewe for a FREE brake safety check at any time if you are concerned with your Renault car or van brakes or braking performance.
Holdcroft Renault make a visual check of your brake discs and pads every time your Renault vehicle comes to our workshop for servicing, MOT, repair, warranty or diagnostic work. On a service we also measure the actual thickness of the brake disc and brake pads and compare that to the Renault minimum thickness standard to advise you on wear and replacement interval to keep you safe on the road. We also check the condition of your brake fluid and for any leaks from a brake hoses, and condition of handbrake cables – all for your peace of mind.
Weston Road, Crewe, CW1 6JS 01270 416859
Leek Road, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent, ST1 6AD 01782 606113
A metal brake disc (made from cast iron) is mounted on the wheel hub, when the brake pedal is pressed the disc is clamped on both sides by two brake pads which are housed in brake callipers.
Brake discs are wearing parts, so need to be checked for thickness and surface condition. and are generally replaced every second or third time the brake pads are replaced, but can be damaged by worn out brake pads. Brake discs are always replaced in pairs to provide equal stopping performance on both sides of your vehicle. Brake pads must always be changed when brake discs are replaced to ensure a good "bite" – as brake pads will be worn or grooved by the previous set of brake discs, which is why Holdcroft Renault have a fixed price offer for brake pads and discs.
Brake pads are in direct contact with the brake discs and during braking the brake pad may reach temperatures of more than 800°C. Their quality is therefore essential, so always choose genuine Renault brake pads and discs fitted by Holdcroft Renault.
Renault approved brake pads can resist high temperatures, and give a good "bite" on the brake disc which ultimately slows and stops your car or loaded van. How long a brake pad lasts depends on the type of vehicle, the type of journeys made and the driving style. Brake pads must therefore be checked regularly. Renault vans and cars are always welcome at Holdcroft Renault for a free brake check – while you use our wi-fi and enjoy a tea or coffee.
Drum brakes are generally mounted on the rear wheels. When the driver presses the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is applied to the pistons in the wheel cylinders pushing brake pads out from the centre of the wheel hum on to the inside of the brake drum. The rear brake drums and wear with the friction applied by the brake pads. Drum brakes are fitted to some Twingo, Clio and Captur models, rear brakes are checked as part of the normal servicing.
This particular fault is generally due to a seizure of one of the moving parts of the hydraulic system or the parking brake mechanism. We will recommend stripping the brake mechanism and servicing it to ensure it works correctly. If this is not done then the other brakes will have to work harder to slow the vehicle, resulting in premature wear of those pads and discs and will cause uneven braking which could cause a risk of skidding of loss of control in an emergency braking situation.
A possible indication of excessive brake dust built up on the friction surfaces, or that the brake pad is heavily worn, or that the fitting of the brake pad in the brake calliper needs checking. Further investigation is recommended, and you should bring the vehicle to us if it is safe to do so, or have it recovered to us if it is not safe to drive and we will investigate the cause and recommend the action needed.
An indication that a brake disc may be distorted or worn unevenly. Further investigation is recommended, and you should bring the vehicle to us if it is safe to do so, or have it recovered to us if it is not safe to drive and we will investigate the cause and recommend the action needed.
When stopping, the contact of the brake pad and disc material causes heat. When brakes are worn, the amount of friction material reduces and the brake pads become more susceptible to over-heating. Excessively hot brake pads can cause premature failure (cracking) of the remaining material. Once the brakes over-heat the braking system efficiency is compromised significantly. If you continue to use brake pads beyond 80% you risk exposing the metal backing on the brake pad which will extend stopping distance, damage the brake disc causing a large repair bill and could result in an accident. For this reason it is important to renew brake pads or discs before they are fully worn.
When a brake disc is manufactured it’s designed to absorb and dissipate heat when stopping. Discs are typically about 20mm in width. The manufacturer will advise that once the disc is worn to a certain width it will lose the ability to maintain a safe working temperature which significantly impacts the braking efficiency of the vehicle. The wear process often leaves uneven lines on the surface of the brake disc. This is quite common and is referred to as scoring. Replacing brake pads on a scored disc surface can result in premature pads life and / or brake noise. The contact point on the disc surface, the shiny part you see through the wheel wears from friction contact every time you apply the brake over a period of time. Eventually the brake pad surface wears into the disc and causes a lip around the outer edge. Lipped discs can reduce the surface area of the contact point between the brake pad and disc which reduces the efficiency of the braking system.
Every time you press the brake pedal a cylinder compresses brake fluid which runs through brake pipes to the brake callipers. The brake callipers hold the brake shoes in which the brake pads are fixed. As the brake fluid is compressed the brake pads are pushed hard on to either side of the brake disc to giver a firm bite on the both sides of the disc to slow your vehicle down, and release that bite when you release the brake pedal. The brake components behind the wheels become extremely hot, due to friction and compression. Brake fluid is designed to operate at temperatures up to 800 degrees C without boiling and it can do this because it is does not contain any water, which would boil at just 100 degrees C and turn in to steam. Because there is no water in the brake fluid, a humid environment in the air around it over time natural processes pull moisture in to the system – this is often described as being hydroscopic. This process increases water content of brake fluid and just 4% water content in brake fluid is enough to seriously impair braking under heavy load, prolonged braking downhill or emergency braking situations.
The water content reduces the boiling point of the brake fluid and can cause a symptom that is known as brake fade. The brake pedal travel increases under your foot as the steam produced by the boiling water is compressed which fails to create the firm bit by the brake pad on the brake disc and the efficiency of the braking system can be reduced resulting in longer stopping distances and danger that can cause.
A secondary concern of water content in brake fluid is the risk of rusting from the inside of the braking system which could lead to brake failure. It is vital to always replace your brake fluid on time and to have this professionally drained, replaced and bled by trained Renault Technicians using the correct brake fluid type.
It is important to respect the need to replace brake pads and or discs, after all they are critical to bringing your vehicle to a stop many times a day. During the Vehicle Health check we will advise whether your brakes are classed as ‘red’ which would require replacement as a matter of urgent safety, or amber which we will advise a replacement date based on your use of the vehicle. So deferring replacement might be an option depending on the severity of the wear.
However many customers already taken advantage of an interest free and fee free payment spreading options which might allow you to complete needed work on the day, so you can drive off worry free while spreading the cost over 4 months. Ask our Service Advisors how it works, it’s very quick simple and the credit check will not affect your credit score and you’ll pay just 25% of your total bill on the day and remainder over the following 3 months.
No, this is not recommended. The brake balance will be significantly impeded as one side of the car will brake more sharply than the other and can dramatically affect the stability of the car under braking, and may lead to an accident.
In the same way that a bicycle has steel rims which rubber brake pads bite on to, for a car the brake pad material is a soft composite material, which is durable in use and can withstand up to 800 degrees C. You may have noticed black dust on your wheel rims, which is from normal wear to the brake pad during use. The brake disc surface on to which the brake pad bites is made of steel and over time is worn away with high speed rotation against the brake pad when the brakes are applied, so the brake disc is worn by the brake pad over time but much more slowly. That means it’s not uncommon for a brake disc to last for two sets of brake pads. However brake discs have a minimum thickness safe for operation determined by the manufacturer. Once discs become worn by years of braking your braking efficiency is impaired and stopping distance will be longer. It’s important to never drive a vehicle with worn brake pads or discs.
When a brake disc is replaced we will always recommend also changing the brake pads. This is because brake pads wear in a way that matches the wear on a brake disc. If you do not change the brake pad at the same time as the brake disc the bite of the old brake pad on a new brake disc is unlikely to be a good match and could cause premature wear of the new brake disc or cause longer stopping distances due to inefficiencies in braking.
A smooth driving style will prolong the life of the braking components, this means reading the road ahead and slowing before you arrive at a red light or stop junction, or when going down a hill selecting a lower gear to help slow the vehicle down with lighter braking.
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Terms and Conditons: All prices quoted are manufacturer recommended retail prices including VAT at the prevailing rate. Prices may vary depending on model and servicing requirement. All prices are correct at time of publication and may be subject to change at any point without notice. All offers exclude the Z.E. range. Additional parts may be required according to the maintenance programme (not included in stated price). Excludes V6 engines. Contact us for the correct specification for your vehicle.
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