Brake Parts Explained | Kearny Mesa, CA | West Automotive Group
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Brake System Basics

Breaking Down The Major Brake Parts

One important way to stay safe while driving is to keep your brake system well maintained. Whether you need emergency brake repair services or you’re looking for maintenance steps, learn more about your brake system and the benefits of routine brake repair services.


The most important component in your brake system is your rotors. A rotor is a smooth metal disk that is used to stop your vehicle. When you push on your brake pedal, calipers force brake pads against the smooth surface of the rotor to create enough friction to stop your vehicle. Quality rotors will last a considerable amount of time, but warping and brake pad material buildup can decrease the efficiency of your rotors.


Calipers are another essential component that typically doesn’t need to be replaced to keep your vehicle stopping successfully. A caliper holds a brake pad and, when activated by your brake pedal and brake line, forces the pad against the rotor. Most calipers last considerably longer than brake pads, but a sticking caliper may need to be repaired or replaced.

Brake Pads

The most common brake repair service is replacing brake pads. These pads come in a range of material types. Here are some of the most common material options to choose from:

  • Non-asbestos organic
  • Ceramic
  • Semi-metallic

Depending on your vehicle and driving habits, each of these brakes has pros and cons. Ceramic brakes have decreased stopping distances in most situations, but can be loud and not effective for heavy loads. Semi-metallic options are best for heavy loads and hard, frequent braking.

Listen for squealing and grinding sounds as you press down on your brake pedal. These noises are signs that your pads are ready to be replaced. Worn-out pads will cause metal-on-metal contact, which is ineffective for quick stops and can damage your rotors.

Quality Brake Repair Services in Kearny Mesa

Stop by West Kearny Mesa Automotive & Transmission or schedule a service for reliable brake inspections and maintenance. Don’t let a damaged rotor, caliper or brake pad compromise your safety as you commute around the San Diego area or travel across the country. Now that you know the basics of your braking system, enjoy reliable repairs to keep your vehicle moving forward.

Written by West Automotive Group