What to Read Next

Ask The Car Chasers: Save money on brakes

Jeanine Ibrahim
26 April 2013


MORE AT CNBC.COM


Along with giving useful advice in the video, Ables demonstrates how to check the pads and rotors on a disc brake system. The process is fairly quick and does not require specialty tools, Ables said.
Here's a breakdown of how to check a vehicle's brakes without a trip to the shop.

Check the Brake Pads

First, expose the brake system by removing the tires. The disc that is attached to the axle and that spins along with the wheels is called the rotor. The clamp-like object that encases the rotor is called the caliper. Calipers house the brake pads, which create the friction that helps stop the vehicle.

To check the pads, remove the calipers by unscrewing the bolts, then wriggle them off the rotors. The brake pads are held in place with clips. Snap those out, examining them for damage and wear.
"You don't want anything less than an eighth of an inch," Ables said, referring to the width of the brake pads. "Once they've gotten down to an eighth of an inch, the pads are bad. Replace them."
Inspect the Rotors

When the calipers are off the rotors, inspect the disc for ridges. If you find any, Ables suggests that you take the rotors to a parts store to have them resurfaced.

Also check the rotors for unevenness by looking at them closely and feeling the discs.
"If there are any grooves, it means [the rotor has] been damaged by either bad pads or neglected maintenance in the past, and it'll probably need to be replaced," Ables said.

How Frequent Should You Check?

Brakes that function properly are essential, so checking them regularly is important. Of course, a good time to inspect brakes is whenever the tires are off. Another guideline is to perform basic inspection during every other oil change, according to Ables.

"Having this done in a shop will run you $200 in labor alone, plus whatever the parts are going to cost to get it replaced," Ables said. "You want to make sure that you're not causing damage to your brake pads or your rotors. The earlier you can catch problems, the more money you're going to save."

How Can Refinancing Your Student Loans Save Money?

SoFi can help you reduce your student loans and help you pay off your debt hassle free!

Bad News For Insurance, Great News For Virginia

Virginia drivers, with cars and good driving records are learning that they may qualify for lower car insurance rates. Do you qualify?

Is your insurance comp Laughing Behind Your Back?

New Studies Show that if you drive less than 55 miles a day you can save a ton on auto insurance.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Kid sleep troubles email series for moms

We get it. We’ve been there. Sign up for our email track to learn how to handle kids who won’t go to sleep or won’t stay in bed.

Read This Before You Buy Medigap Plan F

Plan F is the most popular Medicare Supplement plan, but there's another Medigap option you should consider.

Reconnect With Your High School Friends

Classmates® has the largest directory of high school class lists. Remember the good times and reconnect to create new memories.

Don't Let Your Bundle Of Joy Cost You A Bundle.

Expenses can add up. Take advantage of a top rated 0% APR credit card and don't pay interest for up to 15 months. Learn more & apply securely here.

Help Erase Credit Card Debt with a Personal Loan

Are you paying too much on your credit cards? Consider a Personal Loan to help consolidate your payments.

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

Navy Seal Flashlight Should Be Banned From Public?

The Military has secretly released a flashlight that is now available to the public for a limited time only. Grab one now before they are gone!

Stop Paying Too Much For Your Prescriptions.

Drug prices vary wildly between pharmacies. GoodRx finds the lowest prices and discounts. Compare prices, print free coupons & save up to 80%.

What Are The Pros & Cons Of A Reverse Mortgage?

More Americans are accessing their home equity to support their retirement years. Speak with a professional and see what you may qualify for today.