How to take care of car brakes and avoid rusty brake discs

28 June 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Rust on your car’s brake discs is very common, but it’s not to be overlooked.

Rust on brake discs

It can be caused as easily as rain hitting the discs and then drying on its own - but if left for too long, it can chip away at the disc and eventually cause it to be a potential hazard to the car and its driver. 

At first, rust on your disc pads can be harmless. When its surface-level, actually using your brakes whilst driving will get rid of it, but if left too long, the rust can eat its way in and ruin the brake. 

If a car is left stationary for some weeks (anywhere upwards of a month), rain will creep its way onto the brake discs and dry there, over and over, until the brake disc is rusted beyond repair.

If you drive your car every day, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you've got no reason to use your car, it’s very easy to leave it be and let the rust accumulate. We always advise customers to start up their car (if it’s still insured) and take it for a spin every now and then, therefore getting rid of any surface rust on the brakes (not to mention, keeping the battery alive). If you’re really worried about what rust is doing to your brakes, you can also book a check-up with us online.

Unfortunately, there’s no getting away from the damage that rust does to brake pads.

As the brake pads press against the discs and clear away the surface rust, unfortunately, they themselves receive minor damage from the rust. In the short-term, there’ll be no adverse effects, however, in the long run, the rust will eventually cause damage that wears down the brake pads.

If not treated, the damaged brake pad can then corrode the disk, putting your car in the same situation as previously mentioned.

Combining a worn brake pad and disc can seriously affect the car’s ability to slow down quickly. You can tell when this combination is in play, as you’ll be able to hear a loud grinding sound coming from the wheel it’s affecting. 

In the worst-case scenario, leaving rust for too long can wear down the discs so much that they’re useless, causing a serious safety risk for the car. At this stage, we wouldn’t recommend driving the car, and instead, contact your local garage to have it inspected and, if necessary, have the brakes repaired or replaced

If you’re worried your car isn’t ready for the road book an MOT test with us today.

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