At 210 degrees we have hot water; if we add a couple of degrees and now we are at 212 degrees we have steam capable of moving a train.
Well brake fluid, depending on the type, can have a boiling point of 500 degrees to 800 degrees when there is no contamination. Now if we add some moisture, just simply added from years of temperature changes. Add some contaminates from the various related components, now the brake fluid boiling point is 300 degrees to 600 degrees. The idea of brake fluid is to be used as a hydraulic pressure agent, but when it reaches its boiling point it turns to a vapor and you lose your brake pedal. This is especially true if you are towing or maybe your vehicle is very heavy like an RV or motor coach, then your brakes have the ability to reach the boiling point very quickly. So regular brake fluid flushing is extremely important for correct brake performance. Another overlooked service is keeping the calipers and pad slides lubricated to keep them applying and releasing properly, saving fuel from releasing completely and saving you form overheating caused by dragging.
Our ASE certified technicians can properly inspect the following brake components:
Disc brakes consist of a Disc Brake Rotor, which is attached to the wheel, and a Caliper, which holds the Disc Brake Pads. Hydraulic pressure from the Master Cylinder causes the Caliper Piston to clamp the Disc Brake Rotor between the Disc Brake Pads. This creates friction between the pads and rotor, causing your car to slow down or stop.
- Disc brake rotors and pads
- Calipers and hardware
Drum brakes consist of a Brake Drum attached to the wheel, a Wheel Cylinder, Brake Shoes and Brake Return Springs. Hydraulic pressure from the Master Cylinder causes the Wheel Cylinder to press the Brake Shoes against the Brake Drum. This creates friction between the shoes and drum to slow or stop your car.
- Brake drums and shoes
- Wheel cylinders
- Return springs
Don’t wait until your brakes make funny noises, start grinding or pedal starts pulsating to have them inspected.
Periodic checks of your brakes and brake components may save you money on your next brake service.
If you’re hearing unusual sounds when you brake or if your brake pedal is feeling squishy or too hard, have us do a disc brake inspection for you. We’ll tell you if there’s something wrong and what it’ll take to get your brakes all fixed up.
Anti-Lock Brakes: A System Built For Safety
Computer-controlled anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are a recently developed safety feature. When sudden stops are made, the ABS prevents wheel lock-up. The system is comprised of wheel-speed sensors that monitor wheel rotation, computer-controlled hydraulics that pulse the brakes on and off rapidly, and the on-board computer.
The Parking Brake uses Cables to mechanically apply the brakes (usually the rear brake.) This is used to prevent the car from rolling when not being driven.
Your vehicle’s brake system is a culmination of over 100 years of technological innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms into dependable and efficient equipment. While brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in back. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes link to each wheel and to the master cylinder, which supply them with vital brake fluid (hydraulic fluid).
We can summarize all of your braking equipment into two categories, Hydraulics and Friction Material:
The master cylinder is like a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure, and brake fluid moves into the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses:
Brake lines hoses deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers:
Wheel Cylinders surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons connect the piston with the brake shoe. Push the brakes and the pistons stop and the shoes pushes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes:
A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.
How It Comes Together:
When you first step on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. You actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder, releasing fluid. Brake fluid can’t be compressed. It moves through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact same motion and pressure that initiated it. When it comes to stopping a heavy steel machine at high speed, this consistency is a good thing. The performance of your brakes can be affected when air gets into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. “Bleeder screws” (located at each wheel cylinder) remove unwanted air in your system.
A car without functioning brakes is dangerous. In many cases, warning signs will tell you if your car’s brakes may need service.
Warning signs include:
- Squealing or grinding noises when using brakes. This could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or that your brake pads are worn and need replacement.
- Your dashboard’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light turns on. This indicates that your brake fluid is low. You may have a leak in your brake line. Get it inspected.
- While braking, your car pulls to one side. This means that your brakes need adjustment, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need replacement.
- Your brakes are hard to press down or feel “spongy.” Usually this means air has gotten into your brake lines or you may have low brake fluid.
- When applying your brakes, your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire vehicle begins to shake. If this happens, your brake rotors could be warped and need replacement.
- When you notice any brake warning signs, contact our professional staff by phone, or email, immediately and we’ll take care of it.
BRAKES & BRAKE REPAIR
We want our customers to have the opportunity to feel comfortable in their vehicle. You can leave the repairs and services to our professionals, but please don’t hesitate to ask us questions about why a service is needed or how it occurred. We will be happy to speak with you. Here is some valuable information on brake issues and corrective services:
Brake Pad & Shoe Replacement
Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you’ll hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when braking, meaning that it’s too late and you’re ruining your rotors or drums! Those with knowledge of auto repair may be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.
In a disc brake system, rotors are attached to your vehicle’s wheels. When the brake pads grip the rotor, they bring both the rotor and wheels to a stop. However, the friction causes grooves and cracks to appear over time. Resurfacing brings the rotor back to a “like-new” condition, reducing squealing and wobbling. We will give your rotors a thorough inspection and recommend your best course of action.
The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliber problem could cause uneven braking, making your car slide forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions, so contact us as soon as possible.
A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don’t need to be replaced often, but should be replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.
Brake Fluid Flushes
Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid. Talk to our technicians about when it’s time for a brake fluid flush.
Wheel bearings are found inside of wheels, allowing the wheels to spin freely, and are connected to the brake system. They can become worn over time, causing a vibrating suspension and noisy rubbing as the car is driven. If they break completely, the vehicle will become very difficult to control and unsafe to drive. Replacement interval for wheel bearings varies greatly, but they should be checked for leaks and wear periodically. WE can make sure that your bearings are in good shape and let you know if they need replacement.
Anti-Lock Brake System
Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don’t stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit us and we will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.