BRAKE SERVICE & MAINTENANCE TIPS
Brakes are one of your car’s most important safety components. Without proper care, your brake system can fail, leaving you and other drivers in extreme danger. Following these brake maintenance tips can help you avoid a costly and/or dangerous situation.
Brake System Explained
Your car uses a highly complex brake system consisting of friction material, a master cylinder, boosters, rotors and drums, calipers or wheel cylinders, and an intricate assembly of springs, hoses, steel lines, valves, and sometimes computers, to always bring you to a safe stop.
Breakthroughs in braking technology now allow smaller, lighter brake components. These modern brake systems operate at temperatures hundreds of degrees hotter than the braking system of just 10 years ago.
With today’s drag reducing car designs, lifting your foot off the gas pedal no longer quickly slows your car’s momentum. Plus, most modern cars are front wheel drive and virtually 80 percent of your braking power now centers on the correct operation of front disc brakes where all the weight is.
Brake Problems: The Warning Signs
- Brake warning light comes on
- Your car pulls to one side when braking instead of stopping in a straight line
- When applied, your brakes grab, causing jerky stops
- Brakes grind with continuous loud metallic noise when applied
- Brake pedal is either mushy or very hard to depress
- Brakes must be pumped to work properly
- Wheel(s) are excessively hot after short drives
- Brake fluid leaks are seen around any wheel or in engine compartment, near master cylinder location
- Brake fluid very low or very dirty looking
With the complexity of current braking technology, it’s easy to see why proper brake maintenance and repair service should only be performed by trusted and experienced professionals—like the ASE-certified technicians at Pep Boys. Contact your local shop today to schedule a brake system check or maintenance.