Knowing Which Auto Parts to Replace

Can Car Brakes Get Rusty?

The answer to this question is obviously yes, but what's more important is whether or not this will have any significant effect on how the brakes perform. We've all seen vehicles that have sat in one place for long periods. What usually follows is that the brakes go from a shiny metallic sheen to a rusty brown color.

While rust may not affect all types of brakes, almost all brakes that have metallic components can have a layer of rust forming on the brakes if the car hasn't been used in a while.

What Causes The Formation Of Rust On Brakes?

Many cars will come with a metallic brake disc. The metal used to make the brake disc is usually cast iron. Cast iron has many qualities that make it well suited for this job, however, it's also highly susceptible to corrosion.

If a car has been left sitting for a long time, this gives an opportunity for moisture from rain or the atmosphere to come into contact with the brake disc and rust will quickly form on the surface. A car that is driven regularly will be exposed to high levels of friction and heat regularly. This doesn't allow the layer of rust to form.

Can The Rust Affect Brake Performance?

Anything that gets between the brake pads and the brake disc will have a negative effect on the performance of the brakes. However, the effect of rust is unlikely to be as serious as the effect of substances such as oil.

If the car is being driven for the first time in a while, you may hear a squeal when the brake is applied. If the layer of rust is thick, it may also cause the brakes to engage unexpectedly. If other moving parts of the system are rusty as well, some parts may stick.

How Can The Layer Of Rust Be Removed?

While it may look like a serious problem, getting rid of a layer of rust from the brake disc is a very simple job. You can scrub the rust off using an abrasive material, or you can also use an aerosol cleaner before wiping the brake disc with a rug.

A much simpler approach is to get in the car and drive around for a bit. Apply the brakes sharply a few times. The friction from this is usually enough to remove the layer of rust. If the brake seems a bit sticky, it may be better to schedule a brake service. Companies like Dugan Oil and Tire can help you with this.