Auto factories recommend your brakes be inspected every other oil change or yearly. Brakes wear during everyday use. Worn pads often cause noise. Metal-to-metal brake pads don’t work well and need replacement.
While braking, the master cylinder compresses brake fluid in the brake lines. Master cylinder seals get old and leaky. If the pedal goes to the bottom or feels mushy, the master cylinder must be replaced. A bad master cylinder may cause a BRAKE light on the instrument panel.
Another critical component of the brake system is the brake booster. Modern cars all have power brakes. The brake booster must work to give you the enhancement you want. These warning signs may say a new brake booster is required:
-Hard brake pedal
-Longer stopping distance than you are used to
-Under braking, the engine stalls or runs rough
Brake fluid is transparent when new; dark liquid tells you water has contaminated the fluid or master cylinder seals have broken down. Brake fluid absorbs some of the heat made by brake friction in addition to moving pressure to the brakes. Brake fluid takes in water and needs to be replaced at two-year intervals so rust won’t form on brake components.
A soft brake pedal may indicate a brake fluid leak. Air may need to be bled if your brakes don’t work as well as you want.
Calipers are made of steel and can handle heat generated by braking, but they also have seals that can leak.
Rubber hoses join the master cylinder to the calipers at each wheel. Brake pads located in each caliper push against rotors during braking. Brake fluid leaks in these components can be the source of a soft brake pedal.
With a seized caliper, the car may pull to one side. A seized caliper will generate minor braking or no braking at all. Partial braking may result from seized caliper pistons causing increased brake pad wear and worse fuel mileage. Also, caliper pistons can seize due to road dirt and water exposure.
Brakes wear in your own way; highway vs. city driving and other factors. Because of these differences, regular inspections will benefit your wallet. Brakes work by moving pads against rotors creating friction force by transforming motion to heat. The following symptoms may accompany pad and rotor problems:
- Pulsing or vibration when braking
- Veering while braking
- Extended stopping distance
- Dashboard BRAKE Light illuminated
- Intense odor
- Grinding noise when braking
- Grooves on the rotor
- Should you encounter these, bring your vehicle in for service immediately.
Wheel sensors work with the anti-lock brakes ABS and stability control to assist you in maintaining directional control on slick roads. We will make sure they work while doing a brake inspection. An adjustment of your emergency brakes will complete the service.