If you're an experienced do-it-yourselfer, there's no question that changing your brake pads and rotors is a job that you can probably handle. However, the relative simplicity of this task convinces many people that it's often suitable for beginners. While servicing brakes typically only involves removing a few bolts, it's a job that can hide some surprising complexities and challenges.
Before tackling a brake job as your first do-it-yourself experience, make sure you consider these three reasons why scheduling a professional brake service is often a much better option.
1. Safety Concerns
Beginners can often underestimate the safety issues involved with working on a vehicle. Replacing a part in your car's engine bay is often relatively safe since you're working from above the vehicle. You can focus on the task ahead of you instead of worrying about ensuring a work environment free from avoidable dangers.
When performing a brake service, you'll need to lift the car into the air and support it securely. If you don't have access to a lift, this process typically involves using jack stands and a hydraulic jack. Unfortunately, these devices can be dangerous when used improperly. If you're not confident in this aspect of automotive work, relying on a professional is far safer.
2. Part Inspections
A typical brake job on a modern vehicle involves replacing your old pads, installing a new brake wear sensor, and, in some cases, replacing the rotor discs. Each of these steps is relatively straightforward, and it's generally easy to follow a simple guide when performing them. However, a professional brake service usually goes several steps further.
A professional brake technician will examine other parts of your braking system for wear or potential problems. This inspection can help you avoid future failures and even save you some money by keeping you from finding yourself stranded on the side of the road. Without experience, you won't be able to spot these issues as you perform the more routine aspects of your brake job.
3. Longevity and Reliability
When you perform a brake service, you want your new brakes to last for as long as possible. Correctly installed brake pads can last thousands of miles, but incorrectly installed pads can quickly fail or produce annoying symptoms such as squealing or grinding. Some mistakes, such as installing new brakes on worn rotors, can destroy your pads in a shockingly short time.
Although saving some money with a do-it-yourself job can be attractive, you won't gain much if your new equipment fails sooner. Having a professional handle the work for you ensures that your new brakes will provide long-lasting and reliable service.
Contact a brake service shop near you for more information.