Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Pads and Rotors

Brake Pad

About a month ago, I started hearing a creaking noise while driving. Mostly while applying pressure on the brakes to stop... a few weeks go by and the creaking becomes somewhat louder, to a scraping, scratching sound. The kinds of sounds you wouldn't want to drive your car around in. I drove with those sounds, drove my friends with those sounds, drove my girlfriend a few times in those sounds.


That first picture you see is what had become of the brake pad on the 98' Corolla. In other words, what had been left of one of the brake pads on the Corolla. The second picture is the damage from that brake pad. The grooves on the rotor remind of the ring around Saturn or an old beat-up scratched up record. The wear on the rotors have been so much that I can estimate that the original thickness was around a third of an inch, and what had been left was about an eighth of an inch on the inner part of the rotor. Needless to say, it was bad. It had been somewhat of a blessing in that I drove more carefully everywhere, I'm driving way more safer now.1

So the brakes needed to be worked on. I had already been offered help by two friends that could have most likely helped me by this weekend, September 5th, but unbeknown to me, that would have been too late. Sunday evening, Emily recieved a text message from her father. He was offering to help out on Monday evening after work. I jumped at the opportunity to be able to work with such a great man. I said "yes!" and Em just smiled and excitedly replied, "cool, okay, I'll txt' him tomorrow moring."

Monday, August 31st, had come around and I drove my car with the scraping sounds that it's had for weeks now, it seemed to be normal for me then. I had gotten to work safely. While at work Mr. Winter and I had a brief conversation about the parts that would be required for the job, the difficulty of it and his experience with brake pad replacements. He had called the local Autozone in the area and reserved a few parts for me, so I dropped by after work and picked them up.

The Horror and Hope

Coming up the hill toward their home, making a turn the sound of my brake pads became a terrible howling sound. I was making the turn and unintentionally letting everyone know I was coming. It was so loud that Mrs. Winter was picking up mail and she heard me coming. I was sitting in my car trying to park it... all I can say is parallel parking with howling brakes feels ten times longer than it really is.

Shortly after, Mr. Winter, then Emily, my amazing girlfriend, arrived then we had dinner. After dinner Mr. Winter and I started working on the car. I came out the house and saw the car parked in the garage. We jacked the car up, took off the wheels, took a look at the rotors and calipers. The first one we had taken off was the right caliper, and found only one brake pad within it.

We proceeded to work on the brakes and got the rotors off, and what had been left of all the brakepads... all of the parts looked like those you see in this post. It was horrific. We then put everything back together. Everything came back together easier than it was to take off. The moment of truth came around and I drove the car around the block. There was only one sound... a little "peep" on full pressure to brake.

Many thanks to Mr. Winter for helping me out with my brakes, I thank God so much for giving us that time. If I drove straight home that day, I would have been in danger of not being able to brake sufficiently.

1I referred to it in the Case of the Mondays post.


  1. You fixed those brakes right in the nick of time! I'm so thankful you did, and that you didn't wait one more day. Wow, God was really watching out for you. I love how you write-It's so exciting to read it!
    p.s. "unbeknown"-great word

  2. I was going to wait another five days before fixing it, if your dad didn't offer to help... I probably wouldn't have gotten home... or wouldn't have gotten home safely.

    God was definitely watching.


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