One of the most important systems in any vehicle, the brakes are responsible for allowing you to drive - and stop! - safely and efficiently. If the brakes aren’t working at their optimum level, you’re not traveling as safely as you could be. Brake issues need immediate attention and can mean the difference between a happy roadtrip and a fatal car accident.
Brake System Overview
You know that when you push on the brake pedal, your car gradually slows, eventually to a complete stop. But there are lots of moving parts working together inside your car to make this happen. Since your foot can’t physically stop a moving vehicle, your car must multiply the force of your foot utilizing brake fluid and a hydraulic system, paired with friction on your car’s brakes and clutches.
When you press down on the brake pedal, brake fluid travels through lines from a master cylinder to other pistons evenly. This even pressure is how the force of your foot is amplified to create a more impactful deceleration of your car. Depending on the type of brakes in your car, the piston system will then apply brake pads to disks, causing friction to slow the car to a stop.
Most cars today utilize an anti-locking braking system, or ABS. These complex systems use electronic sensors and high-pressure pumps that can measure your vehicle’s speed and other important forces. If needed, the ABS can actually pump the brakes for you in the event of an emergency stop.
Regular Brake Checks
Any time you suspect issues with your brakes, you should have them inspected. Common brake issues include:
If any of these symptoms are present, you should have a qualified mechanic take a look. A high-quality service provider can explain the problem and recommend any repair if necessary.
It’s important to get your brakes checked at least once a year. Daily wear and tear on the parts of your braking system can cause an issue that may have not yet produced a noticeable symptom.