Brake dust is mostly unavoidable. When you stomp on the brake pedal, your brake pads use friction to turn your car's motion into heat and ultimately dissipate that heat away into the atmosphere. In doing so, they sacrifice themselves, eventually wearing down to nothing. The black dust that accumulates on your wheels is what remains of your pads, which is a natural part of this process. Excessive brake dust may not be a result of normal wear and tear, however. If one of your wheels has become coal-black, then it may be due to one of these three causes.
1. You May Be Using Dusty Pads
The simplest (and least costly) cause is nothing to worry about: your pads may be more dusty than usual. There are three conventional brake pad materials in use on vehicles today: organic, semi-metallic, and ceramic. There are pros and cons to each material, and that includes the amount of dust that they generate as a regular part of their usage. Organic pads (often the type installed on cars from the factory) can produce a large amount of dust, so your pads may be the culprit for your dark wheels if there is a roughly even amount of material on each wheel. Semi-metallic pads also often produce large quantities of dust. Note that all pads create some dust, but the debris from ceramic pads is harder to see and less likely to stick to your wheels.
2. Your Caliper Might Be Sticking
Is the dust problem limited to a single wheel? If so, then your pad material is unlikely to be the underlying cause. When dust builds up on a single wheel, it means that something is causing your pads on that wheel to remain against the rotor for an excessive period. You may also notice that the affected wheel gives off more heat, even after stopping. For this reason, it's essential to avoid touching your wheel immediately after driving if you suspect that your caliper is stuck. Repairing a stuck caliper will usually require rebuilding the caliper or replacing it altogether.
3. You Might Have a Scored Rotor
If one wheel has a scored rotor, it can sometimes cause excess wear on that wheel's brake pads as well. Since the rotor surface is no longer smooth, the pad wears unevenly and produced more dust than usual. This type of wear can also be caused if a piece of debris becomes lodged in the brake pads, causing it to grind against the rotor surface as you drive. When debris gets trapped in this way, the dust that you see is metallic flakes from the rotor as it wears away. In either case, having your brakes evaluated (and, possibly, your rotor resurfaced) is essential to prevent further damage to your brakes.
To learn more, contact your local brake repair service today.Share
24 November 2019
After trying in vain to fix my car for a few months, I realized that I needed to hire a professional. I was tired of dealing with repairs that I was unfamiliar with, and I knew that I needed to get some help. I started looking around for a great auto mechanic, and even though one business was more expensive than others, I decided to work with them. They worked hard to fix my car, and I was really pleased with how great of a job they did. This blog is all about investing in proper auto service so that you don't have to deal with problems in the future.