The Importance of Brake Maintenance and Repair
The Steps Involved When Repairing or Replacing Car Brakes
While the importance of maintaining a fully functional braking system cannot be overstated, it is important to appreciate the steps that need to be taken should it be discovered that replacement parts or adjustments to the braking systems are needed.
The first and most obvious measure is to determine whether the vehicle's brakes are functioning as they should. A high-pitched squeal when stopping under normal traffic conditions, a grinding sound or a "sluggish" stopping time are all signs that the vehicle should be examined by a qualified mechanic.
The garage will first check the brake fluid to make sure it is at an adequate level as well as perform a visual and physical inspection of the brake lines that run from the master cylinder to the pads themselves.
Assuming that the problem is attributed to the pads, the tyres will be removed and the pads will be given a detailed inspection. Signs of excessive wear, uneven braking, cracking or rotors that display rough grooves or appear warped are all signals that the pads will need to be removed and replaced as deemed necessary.
This involves a rather complicated process and the car repair technician must make certain that no air escapes into the brake lines. If done correctly, the new brake pad or brake disc will be installed and the tyres subsequently reattached.
Should uneven braking have occurred in the past, tyre repair may be additionally necessary. The vehicle may have been "pulled" in one direction or another during the braking process if a pad had failed. If the tread on the tyres is sufficiently worn, they may need to be replaced. This is much more common with the front two tyres.
Brake repair - Step by step:
- An examination of the brake lines and master cylinder.
- A visual inspection of the brake pads and rotors.
- A removal of the brake disc or brake pad; making certain that no air escapes into the brake line.
- A replacement of the selected device along with the possible inclusion of new tyres.
As a vehicle's brakes are under near constant pressure, signals that the brakes may be failing will generally develop over time. The most obvious hint is a pedal that may need to be forcibly pressed to the floor when stopping the car. A "spongy" feeling may indicate a problem with the pads or perhaps a leak in a brake line.
A distinctive "whining" or "screeching" sound is another indicator that there may be a mechanical issue. However, these sounds may also be heard when driving through puddles or if a vehicle has not been driven in some time.
If a car feels as if it being pulled to one side or the other when braking, it is wise to schedule an appointment with a garage. This phenomenon is often caused by one of the brakes having failed, thus the other brake will have to perform the entire task of stopping the car. This fishtailing motion needs to be addressed promptly and there may be instances when tyre repair or replacement may prove wise.
Finally, tyres and hubcaps that are hot to the touch or display what appears to be dust on the surface may indicate that there is a problem with the braking system.
In all of these cases, it is best to take the vehicle to a garage sooner rather than later.
To summarize - Break Repair Warning Signs include:
- A soft or spongy feel to the brake pedal.
- A whining or screeching sound when braking.
- A vehicle being pulled to one side when slowing down.
- Tyres or pads that are hot to the touch while presenting a buildup of dust around the local area of the pad.