Brakes are possibly one of the most important features of your car. They keep you from potential accidents and allow you to maintain your speed at safe levels. Without brakes, we’d all be zipping around relying only on momentum to stop. For this reason, it’s essential that your brakes are properly maintained.
How Brakes Work
You know that when you push the brake pedal, your car slows down. Besides that, it’s good to know all of the parts that make the brakes do what they do. Here are the key components:
Master Brake Cylinder: This part takes the signal from your brake pedal and transfers pressure to each wheel.
Brake Pads: These press against the rotor when the brake pedal is pressed. There are typically two brake pads per wheel.
Calipers: These move the brake pads back and forth and are located around the rotor.
Brake Lines: This brings the brake fluid to the brakes so they stay lubricated.
Fluid Reservoir: This is where the brake fluid is stored before transferred to the brake pads via the brake lines.
Brake Rotor: This is the spinning disk behind the wheel that provides the stopping power.
Once you’ve identified the different parts of the brakes and what they do, you can better understand the maintenance that needs to be done to ensure you have the stopping power you need to drive safely.
It all starts with inspecting your brakes on a regular basis to ensure they are working properly. You should be looking for uneven pad wear, any pits or scratches on the surface of the rotor, along with caliper rust or other defects. Checking these things regularly will keep you one step ahead of brake maintenance.
Keep Fluids Full
Whenever the fluid levels in the reservoir are low, the master brake cylinder is placed under excess stress which can cause huge problems in the long run. Make sure to check the brake fluid levels when you’re checking your engine oil, coolant levels, and other fluids in your vehicles.
Check Under the Car
When you drive, your car takes an onslaught of rocks, pebbles, salt and other materials. Because the brake lines are located on the underbelly of the vehicle, they’ll end up taking a beating too. Periodically, crawl under the car and ensure that they are in working order and free of any damage.
Check Your Driving Habits
It’s great to check your brakes periodically, but if your driving habits aren’t in check, you could be doing more damage to your brakes. If you are constantly slamming on your brakes because you drive fast or don’t pay attention to the road, your brake pads, drum brakes, and rotors will take a significant beating, shortening their lifespan.
You don’t need to drive like your grandmother, but we recommend that you avoid sudden stops and instead focus on gradually reducing your speed via coasting and then minimal braking if possible.
Brake Problems? Bring Your Car to Clutch Auto Repair
Bring your car to the experts at Clutch Auto Repair for your brake maintenance needs! We’ll ensure that your vehicle is in tip-top shape for the road ahead.