Metal on Metal: Deeper Damage

Metal on Metal: Deeper Damage

As a part that’s under a lot of stress, your brakes will wear out over time. “Metal to metal” is the term used to describe brake pads or shoes that have worn through all of their friction material. When this happens, the metal backing of the pad or shoe rubs on the rotor or drum, which is also made of metal-- hence the term, “metal to metal.” In a previous article, we talked about the signs and symptoms to look out for. But, once you realize there’s a problem with your brakes, time is of the essence. Continuing to drive once brakes go metal to metal will not only damage surrounding parts and drastically increase your repair bill. In this article, we’ll discuss some of those parts and the effects of peripheral damage.

Rotors and Drums

When the friction material and brake pads have worn out, the drum or rotor will wear away very quickly. These parts will eventually wear below the minimum thickness even if the pads do not go metal to metal. But, if you wait until the pad has been worn clear down to the anti-squeal shim, you’re going to be looking at a very expensive fix-- anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand of dollars, depending on what you drive. Drums and rotors that could have been machinable before the brakes went metal to metal may need to be replaced.


Brake calipers are another component that can be destroyed if you continue to drive on bad brakes. Once a pad is ejected or worn too thin, the caliper piston can hyperextend and come out of place, causing brake fluid to leak. In the photo above, the inner pad is almost gone and the caliper piston is hitting the rotor. If this happens, the calipers must also be replaced. The calipers are not normally replaced during a brake job, so this is an extra expense that could have been avoided.

At V&F

Our expert mechanics use latest diagnostic equipment, and high-quality CARQUEST auto parts, to get your brakes back in shape. Plus, our auto repair services are backed by an industry-leading 3 year / 36,000-mile warranty on parts and labor. Call us today at (413) 314-2280 or schedule an appointment online.

Written by Developer Autoshop