What are they? Your car’s brake system is its most critical safety system and you should check it immediately if you suspect any problems. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation under a wide variety of conditions.
What do they do? When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (drum brakes) and the pads against the rotors (disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the amount of force applied at the brake pedal.
Typical Wear and Tear – Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they’re going to need replacement. Avoid letting your brakes get to the “metal-to-metal” point, which usually means accelerating expensive rotor or drum replacement. Several factors that affect wear include:
- Driving habits
- Operating conditions
- Vehicle type
- The quality of brake lining material
- Car pulls to one side during braking
- Brake pedal pulsates when you apply the brakes
- Brake pedal feels “mushy”
- Noise when you step on the brake pedal
- Repeatedly need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder