A Comprehensive Guide to Brake Repair and Maintenance

When you press your brakes, all the components within the system must work together almost instantly to stop your car. Understanding how the system works and when it is time for brake service is important.

A lit brake warning signal an issue with your vehicle’s braking system. Other indicators include a spongy brake pedal, grinding noises, and metal-on-metal squealing.

Brake Pads

Brake pads are the friction material bonded to a metal plate that helps stop and slow your vehicle. Some pads have wear indicators that create a squealing or screeching sound when wearing thin. If you hear this noise, it is a good time to make an appointment with your brake specialist for your brake repair Edmonds WA.

If you wait too long to change your brake pads, they will start to wear down the rotors and cause expensive damage. Regular upkeep and repairs will save you money and guarantee your safety while driving.

Brake Rotors

A vehicle’s brake system relies on several essential components, but the rotor should be more noticeable. Brake rotors are metal discs that sit behind the wheel hubs and, like your brake pads, take a beating every time you apply the pedal.

Aside from normal wear and tear, they can also be impacted by your driving style and environment. The rotors can wear out more quickly than usual due to harsh braking or frenetic usage of the brakes, which is when you start to hear that scraping sound.

The rotors can also experience damage or cracks if the vehicle is exposed to extreme heat. Depending on the design of the rotor, it may be drilled, slotted, or vented to improve its ability to dissipate heat during operation.

Brake Lines

The brake lines, made of sturdy metal, transport brake fluid from the master cylinder to locations close to your car’s wheels and brake calipers. They are often made of stainless steel to withstand high pressures and the elements, but they can wear out over time.

They are most likely to need repair if they have visible signs of distress, such as a spongy brake pedal. If unchecked, worn brake lines can leak and decrease your car’s braking power.

You can purchase brake lines from auto parts stores pre-bent for the best fit on your vehicle. However, buying straight brake line materials and bending them yourself is also possible using tube-bending tools.

Brake Hoses

Brake hoses carry hydraulic brake fluid and pressure to the wheel cylinders and calipers that slow or stop your car. Cracked, chafed, or worn hoses can cause inoperable brakes. It can also fail a Warrant of Fitness (WOF).

Brake hoses are made from either rubber or stainless steel and tend to suffer more damage at the ends of the hose, where they flex most. They can also be prone to swelling, which reduces the line pressure and can affect the system’s overall performance. A mushy brake pedal is often the first sign of a brake hose problem and should be checked by a mechanic as soon as possible.

Brake Calipers

While they have a long lifespan, your car’s brake calipers aren’t immune to problems. It includes rust and corrosion, which hinder their ability to slide freely along the slide pins or pistons.

A seized piston will prevent the pads from making contact with the disc and can cause the vehicle to pull in one direction when braking. The vehicle may also require more distance than usual to stop.

A high-pitched squeal while driving could indicate a failing brake caliper piston seal and is a problem that a professional should address. Corrosion and mineral build-up over time can prevent pressure variability, vital for optimal braking functioning.

Brake Fluid

Braking your car requires a significant amount of hydraulic pressure. That’s why it’s important to keep your brake fluid levels high; if they are low, add more. Brake fluid protects the metal components in your hydraulic brake system from corrosion. But your braking power will decrease when the fluid is too low or contaminated with moisture.

Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it readily absorbs moisture from the air. That water decreases the fluid’s boiling point, causing it to lose its effectiveness. Excess water can cause a brake failure called a “vapor lock.” A faulty vapor lock reduces braking pressure and is dangerous to drive under.

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