Brakes are pretty much the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree that it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspecting your brakes twice a year for wear and damage can protect you and your passengers. Additionally, it will also help save you money by catching any damage before it becomes too costly.
Brake System Components That Can Fail
The master cylinder, the heart of the vehicle’s braking system, holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will become ruined.
The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old and dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The brake lines connect to the master cylinder through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve. It regulates the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials, while the disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely, letting the metal of the calipers and cylinders they are attached to grind against the rotors and drums and damage them. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip sounds only when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.
GCSRC is your brake repair specialist. Whether your brakes are just a touch unresponsive, feeling a bit mushy or squealing every time you tap them, we are your one stop shop for quality brake repair.
With Safety in mind, you can easily see that your Brakes are the most important system in your vehicle. Understanding a little more about the way your brakes work is an important step to take in making sure that you, and your family stays safe. Although there are several kinds of brakes, they can generally be split into 3 categories, Disc, Drum and Anti-lock brakes. Although they use different technologies to operate specifically, they all use the same principles to bring your car to a complete stop. The most basic way to understand the way your brakes work is to know that the system operates on friction. Pressure from your foot is transferred down a line of hydraulic fluids to amplify the force of your foot and apply pressure to the pads of the brake and stop your wheels from spinning. As we all know, Friction equals heat, and heat causes wear.
The best way to ensure that your brakes do not wear past the point of usefulness is to pay close attention to a few things.
Brake Pressure. If you notice your brake pedal falling too low when you apply pressure or is requiring excessive force to push down you may have an issue with contaminated brake fluid. Although the brake fluid operates in a vacuum sealed environment it is still possible for air or rust to get into the system and cause problems. Usually this kind of issue is easily fixed by bleeding the brake lines, replacing the fluid or calibrating the vacuum level in the brake booster.
Noisy Brakes – If your brakes are making any kind of noise, you can assume that something is wrong. Whether it is a sharp whine, low groan or strange “clunk” sound, you had better consider having your brakes looked at. Any kind of noise is sign that your brakes are wearing down past the point of safety or have already done so. At this point it is best to take advantage of our free towing offer and make sure that you get your vehicle gets looked at as soon as possible.
Brakes Pulling or Grabbing – When you release the brake pedal, your breaks should immediately respond by letting go and allowing the wheels to spin freely. If your brakes continue to hold after you release the pedal it is most likely caused by failing brake pads or a damaged brake disc.
There are generally only 3 types of brakes, Disc, Drum and Anti-lock brakes. No matter which type you have, we are qualified to repair or replace your brakes. Let our expertise ensure that your vehicle will come to a smooth and complete stop every time, no matter the situation.
So give us a call and let us prove to you that we truly are your local brake experts.