Brake Servicing And Repair
Discovering whether your brakes are functioning properly can often be tricky, especially if you’re trying to diagnose the issue yourself or if you’re unsure about the brakes’ current conditions. Don’t worry though, because we’re here to help. Here are some common scenarios which usually indicate that your brakes need to be looked over by a specialist:
Vehicle often pulls to one side when braking – This occurs if there is a problem with the brake linings. The most common remedy is a simple brake adjustment, so this should not be too costly or time-consuming.
Brakes squeal upon use – This is often caused if there is friction created in the linings of the brakes. In this case, not taking this issue seriously and ignoring it can cause further damage to the brake pads, linings and rotors.
Brakes make a grinding noise – This will likely be caused by worn out brake pads. If your brake pads have been worn down below the specified minimum, metal will be clutching metal in order to stop the car, resulting in an audible noise which is easy to hear, as well as vibrations through the pedal in certain cases.
Brakes feel spongy or weak – This problem usually comes down to an issue with the master cylinder. The master cylinder is partly responsible for applying pressure to the brakes when it is otherwise not there.
If you are experiencing any of the problems that are detailed above, we would recommend you come and visit Lowton Motor Company, so your brakes can be serviced.
How Do Car Brakes Work?
The brakes have one function and one function only: stop the car as quickly as possible. Obviously, you’re not trying to stop as quickly as possible all the time, but if you need to perform an emergency stop, it’s crucial that you have strong and functional brakes.
An issue with the engine will leave you stranded by the side of the road, but an issue with the brakes might be more dangerous since you need them to stop the car and get out safely. Brakes have evolved massively over the past couple of decades, to the point where most modern hatchbacks have twice the stopping power of supercars from just two decades ago.
The first braking systems were primitive and simple. In fact, the very first braking system was nothing more than a wooden block which the driver operated with a lever in order to get it to grind the wheel and stop the car. After the subsequent drum and expanding internal shoe brakes, we got the modern system we currently use today: disc brakes.
Disc brakes consist of a rotor, a caliper, and pads, along with the associated braking lines which carry the brake fluid. The caliper sits (hovers) above the rotor, and inside it houses two brake pads, one on either side of the brake rotor. These pads are usually made up of organic or synthetic materials, which when you apply pressure on the brake pedal inside the car, get pushed towards the brake rotor via the brake fluid. The more you press on the pedal the more the pads press on the rotor, i.e. the bigger the stopping power.
Naturally, the grip limit of the tyre limits how much the brakes can stop a car, which is why modern cars have ABS to prevent locking the wheels and crashing. High-performance and race cars have bigger rotors with bigger pads to create a larger braking surface, but mainly to stop overheating and cool the brakes more effectively.
Modern cars have disc brakes on all four corners, i.e. all four wheels, operated by a hydraulic system and made up of several components that are subject to stress and potential damage. You can still find some cars with rear drum brakes instead of disc brakes, but they’re getting extremely rare nowadays.
As you’d expect, the front brakes of a vehicle play a vital role in bringing the car to a stop because the weight of the car is thrown forward when you brake (inertia). Braking systems differ between cars as we already said, and that mostly depends on the vehicle’s size and function.
Most, if not all, new cars come with power assisted brakes, making stopping easy and effortless in day-to-day scenarios. Some older cars only came with manual brakes, which are difficult to use since they require a lot of effort from the driver in order to stop.
If you have any queries about the brakes in your vehicle or think your car brakes may be faulty, contact Lowton Motor Company on 01925 320468 to get your brakes serviced in Birchwood as soon as possible!