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.

Being able to stop your vehicle is one of the most important factors in safe driving. Most accidents are avoided by being able to stop in time. The braking system on any vehicle should be properly functioning and properly maintained. In the years past, brake system was thought of as a simple system with few parts. However, most modern vehicles contain multiple electronic devices to monitor the vehicles driving condition and control the brake systems response to the conditions at hand. The brake system in most modern vehicles contains a computer that communicates with other systems on the vehicle to provide functions such as Anti-Lock brake operation, Traction Control and Vehicle Stability Control. Many vehicles are also incorporating electronic brake calipers that are used to control parking brake operations as well. There’s a lot more to a brake system than a pedal, some pads and a little fluid. With years of experience, continued education and certifications we are fully trained and qualified to handle all of your brake system needs.