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.
Spot The Signs and Get Rid of Brake Problems
You, like many other drivers, would definitely agree that brakes are one of the most critical features of your vehicle. But do you have any idea how to detect a defective or improperly working brake system?
Wonder why it is essential to get your vehicle’s brakes checked as soon as they show the first troubling sign? If your car is creating unusual sounds or giving out strange smells, then it’s time to look into the underlying problem. Don’t delay the brake maintenance or repair work as it may only worsen the situation and make you pay for expensive repairs.
Signs and Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
When it comes to brakes, your listening skills might be more important than your vision. After all, you can’t see your car’s brake system, but you surely can listen to the sounds it creates. Pay attention. Noise, smells, sounds, and vibrations signify possible brake problems. Here are a few signals that say a lot about your brakes, but that many vehicle drivers ignore:
Screeching, Piercing Sounds
Squealing, screeching, and many other sharp noises usually indicate that your brake shoes and pads are in need of inspection services. Your damaged brake pads should be addressed and repaired before they cause any damage to other components.
Think your brake pedal or steering wheel constantly vibrates? Well, this pulsation may be trying to tell you something, so take notice. Before your rotors get damaged by continuous metal friction, get your brake system inspected.
Do your tires emit a strange burning odor? Well, they need your attention and help. These smells could be anything but normal. Look for experienced brake services as they have the right tools and methods to determine the source of this smelly symptom.
Make sure to have your car’s brakes inspected periodically to keep them in top working condition.