Quick Tip: Check Both Sides of the Brakes

If you’re looking over a car, whether a used car you’re considering buying, or just checking over your car before a trip, one thing you should check is the brakes. But unless you have a jack or a lift, you usually can only see the outside face of the rotor and the outside pad. Sometimes that can be deceiving.

These two rotors are both from the same car. The outside face of both look like the one on the right, and the inside face look like the one on the left. If I hadn’t looked at the inside of the rotors, I wouldn’t have seen that they were very rusty, the pad contact area was bad, and the face was starting to flake off in the rustier areas. It’s clear that only looking at the outside of the brakes would’ve meant sending the customer back out with bad brakes instead of selling what it needed.

This second set from a different car is a little worse, though the condition of the outside of the rotors hinted at the actual condition. The backside is completely junk, with barely any clean pad contact and a lot of rusted face that fell off when I used a hammer to get them off the car.

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