Let’s Talk About Your Brakes
The brakes on your vehicle work hard every time you drive. When you slow down in traffic, stop at a red light, or must maneuver a quick hard stop because of an obstruction in the road your brakes are at work. Over time the use of your brakes causes normal wear and tear, which can render them ineffective or useless. It’s important to have regular maintenance performed on your braking system to keep it in tip top shape, and provide safe driving conditions for you and your family.
How Do Brakes Work?
The brake system in your vehicle is comprised of a disc, also called a rotor, a caliper, and the brake pad. From inside the car, it seems like all that happens is a push on the brake pedal, and the vehicle stops. But inside the car, this depressed pedal sends brake fluid through the brake lines as a piston moves in the master cylinder. As pistons in the caliper are initiated, the brake shoe pushes against the rotor, causing friction on the brake drum. Essentially, this pressure caused by your brake pad on the drum will slow the roll of your vehicle, and eventually cause it to stop.
A Brake Inspection Is Key
As you can see there are many parts to making your brakes work properly. To put it simply, your typical brake inspection will provide a hands-on assessment of each of the above brake system components in addition to the odds and ends that bring it all together. Of course the less you use your brakes, the less wear they’ll experience. For most cars however, an advisable frequency is whenever you have your tires rotated (at least every 6 months), or once a year.
Warning Signs of Brake Trouble
Worn Brake Pads:
You’ll feel this in the delayed reaction time, but you can also manually look at your pads depending on the design of your car wheel. A healthy pad is generally ¼ of an inch thick. If you are unsure, our certified mechanics at Main Street Mechanic are ready to help.
Screeching, squealing, and grinding:
There’s still more to be said about the sounds you should be listening for. The wear indicator is an attachment near the pad that makes contact with the disc to create a screeching or squealing noise that will certainly be hard to miss. There may also be a different feel as you press the pedal. However, once this squealing turns into grinding, your pads are gone and you’re now scraping the calipers against the rotors. You are going deeper and deeper into hot water and pricey fixes by this time.
When you start looking into the high prices of brake fixes it can get a little daunting, this is why Main Street Mechanic suggests preventative maintenance to our customers. Getting your brakes checked will save you money in the long run. For questions or concerns about your brakes, don’t hesitate to call or schedule an appointment today by visiting www.maintstreetmechanic.com.