It’s of extreme importance that your vehicle has properly working brakes, as it contributes to both the safety and performance of the automobile. This also means that drivers should be aware of how brakes function and what signals a need for service. At Kwik Kar Richardson, we offer many different services to keep your brakes in tip-top shape.
A Basic Primer on Automobile Brake Systems
The brake system in your car is composed of many parts that work together as a whole to ensure that your vehicle comes to a stop correctly when you want it to do so. You press on the brake pedal, which causes the master cylinder to release brake fluid, sending hydraulic pressure through the brake lines to activate your car’s brake shoes (or pads). These brake pads will then make contact with the brake drums or rotors to stop or slow down your car. Some systems use sensors as a way to activate the brakes, but it amounts to the same process.
As your brakes are used on a regular basis, they wear down and will eventually require replacement. This explains why replacing brake pads is the most common brake repair, as the pads wear to some extent each time you press the brake pedal. If the brakes continue to wear without a replacement, the metal holding the pads can rub against the metal rotors, which is unsafe and may lead to needing replacement of the rotor, as well.
When to Schedule Brake Services
There are a number of warning signs that will alert you to a need for brake service. You’ll need to rely on your sight, hearing, and touch to ensure you notice these signs when they happen. The most common things that likely mean you need brake work include the following:
- Vehicle pulling to the left or right when braking
- Feeling a pulse or softness when pressing the pedal
- Squealing or grinding sounds when braking
- Brake warning light coming on while you drive
- Brake fluid looking dirty or being low
If you see or hear any of these signs, you should speak to a mechanic as soon as possible. Ignoring the problem can lead to much worse problems down the line. To save money and stay safe, you should always check in with an auto shop if something seems strange while you are driving.
Common Brake Services Provided
There are numerous services that Kwik Kar offers when it comes to the brake system. Some are more common than others; we’ll be looking at the most common problems that come up in our line of work.
A shoe replacement is an essential maintenance process when it comes to car brakes. It is suggested that you replace the shoe at about 20,000 miles. Some cars may need replacement more or less frequently, but 20,000 miles is a good rule of thumb to remember.
In addition to watching mileage, many vehicles offer an indicator on the brake pad assembly for how much wear is on the brakes. This is readily determined when it’s time for an oil change, allowing you to replace the brake shoes at the same time if required. You should also speak to a brake repair specialist if you have noticed your brakes are sticking or making a squealing noise.
While shoe replacement is a maintenance process, line replacement is often more of an emergency replacement process. The brake line is responsible for moving fluid from your master cylinder and through the entire brake system. The fluid makes sure that everything is lubricated and working well. However, this only is possible if the fluid is clean. A small hole can allow dirt in, which can have dreadful effects on the brake system. In some cases, the brake line can be patched, but with a larger hole, you will require a new brake line. If you find that your car has become extremely hard to stop, you should visit your mechanic. This is a perilous situation.
Master Cylinder Replacement
A master cylinder is something that doesn’t often require replacing. What this part does is regulate the pressure of the fluid in the brake system. The cylinder consists of pistons, valves, and a reservoir that holds the brake fluid. In many cases, the master cylinder will work the entire lifetime of a vehicle. However, things can go wrong, and it sometimes needs replacing. It’s often easier to replace than to determine what small part went wrong to repair.
Bleeding Brake Lines
When someone mentions bleeding brake lines, they are describing a process of removing the fluid from the lines to replace with new brake fluid. This is most common when dirt makes it into the system, or air bubbles are in the lines. Brake lines will generally be bled following any brake procedures to make sure there is no air or dirt inside. It also may be done if your brake system seems fine, but you have trouble braking. If you need the brakes bled, you may notice a soft feel when pushing the brake. It may also require more pressure than usual to bring the vehicle to a stop.
Learn More About Brake Services
If you need brake services or would like to learn more about the services we offer, you can contact our office at 972-644-1851 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d be happy to help you get your car back in the absolute best shape for driving!