All You Need to Know About Car Brake Repair and Maintenance
All You Need to Know About Car Brake Repair and Maintenance
Posted on December 2, 2020
Saskatoon, All You Need to Know About Car Brake Repair & Maintenance
Our brake system is one of the things we tend to take for granted on our cars. When we push down on that pedal, we just assume our car will stop, no questions asked. But in order for things to keep stopping when you need them to, you need to do some regular car brake maintenance.
Maintaining your brakes doesn’t have to be hard, but it is very important. Read on to learn more about how to keep your brakes in top shape so you never have to worry, since no one likes a car brake repair bill.
How a Brake System Works
Most cars use a disc brake system on the front and a drum brake system on the back. These systems work off of hydraulics, forcing liquid – in this case, your brake fluid – through lines to move other pieces.
When you push down on your brake pedal, it forces your brake fluid through the master cylinder, which divides that pressure out to all four of your brakes.
On the front, that pressure pushes down calipers which pinch your brake pads together. Your brake pads pinch the disc, which slows down the spinning of the wheel.
On the back, the brake fluid pushes a set of brake shoes out so they make contact with the drum. This drum is coupled with your wheel, so the increased friction slows your car.
Check Your Brake Fluid To Avoid Early Brake Repair
One of the most important things you can do to maintain your brake system is to check your brake fluid. This fluid is what keeps your whole hydraulic system running, so if it gets low, things can get catastrophic in a hurry.
When you check your brake fluid, make sure it isn’t low, and if it is, try to figure out why. Low brake fluid could indicate a leak that will keep causing you trouble. You also need to make sure the fluid doesn’t look milky; this could indicate that it’s been contaminated with moisture and might damage your master and wheel cylinders.
Bleed Your Brake Fluid
Every two or three years, you need to bleed your brake fluid. This will help remove any air that may have built up in the line and which could cause dangerous malfunctions. You’ll know it’s time to bleed your brakes if you notice a change in the feel of braking, such as the brake pad starting to feel “spongy” when you push down on it.
You can bleed your brakes on your own, but it’s a moderately difficult repair. It’s a good idea to get your brakes bled when you’re getting other work done on your brakes. If you don’t have any experience working on cars and you haven’t had your brakes worked on in a couple of years, take your car to the mechanic and ask them to bleed the brake fluid for you.
Inspect Your Brake System
It’s also a good idea every so often to make a visual examination of your brake system. This is a particularly good idea before you head out on a long trip. Things may seem fine with your brake system, but you don’t want to find out when you’re trying to stop for a red light on the highway that something is wrong.
Take a look at your brake pads and make sure they’re at least five millimeters thick. Your rotors should be smooth and even; if either of these things isn’t the case, replace the part. Also take a look at as much of the brake system as you can get your eyes on, looking for any signs of leaks.
Don’t Let Hot Brakes Get Wet
Because your brakes work on friction, they generate a lot of heat. And while your rotors are designed to expand and contract a little as they change temperature, they should never change too rapidly. Rapid temperature changes can permanently warp your brake rotors.
Getting hot brakes wet can drop their temperature fast enough to damage them. When you’re using a four-wheel drive, be sure to give your brakes some time to cool down before you go driving into a creek or puddle. If you’ve been doing a lot of heavy braking, don’t wash your car or drive it into a car wash.
Don’t Park in Water
Parking in water is a bad idea for a number of systems on your car, but it’s especially bad on your brakes. When your brakes sit in water, they can start to rust, which can cause all sorts of issues. Not to mention no one wants to wade through a puddle to get in and out of their car.
When it’s raining, do your best to avoid parking in gutters or other waterlogged areas. If your driveway or the parking lot at your job floods, park on the highest ground you can find so only the tires are in the water. If your brakes are exposed to water, dry them out by gently applying pressure to your brake pedal as needed.
Be Gentle on Your Brakes
The best thing you can do to maintain your brake system is to be gentle with it. The less strain your brake system undergoes, the longer your parts will last. You’ll be using it how it’s meant to be used, which will save you time and keep you safer.
When you’re going downhill, shift into a lower gear or apply light pressure intermittently to avoid burning up your brakes the whole way downhill. Also, make sure you leave plenty of space in traffic to avoid heavy braking as much as possible. And never use your hand brake to slow down; these should be used in emergencies only.
Learn More About Car Brake Repair & Maintenance
Your brakes are one of the most crucial systems in your car, and you need to make sure you’re doing regular car brake maintenance. Keep them dry as much as possible, keep an eye on your brake fluid, and check your system every so often. And don’t put off repairs; you don’t want to find out the hard way how far you can push that envelope.
If you’d like to get your brake system taken care of, or get your brake repair service done, come see us at Dodge City Auto located on 8th Street Saskatoon. We also have a full collision center. Our automotive repair service center is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Schedule service with us today, and keep your car running in top condition.