A proper braking system is essential to keeping you and your loved ones safe while driving. Brakes are one of the single most import systems in a vehicle, so it is recommended to inspect them twice a year. At All County Auto Repair & Tire in Tequesta and Stuart, we can catch any brake problems early and fix them before they become dangerous, all for an affordable price. Don’t put yourself or your family at risk--call to schedule an evaluation today!
During our brake inspection, we assess several key systems, including:
Master Cylinder - The core of any vehicle’s braking system is the master cylinder, which holds the brake fluid when it is not being pumped to the brakes through the brake lines. If the master cylinder becomes damaged or the brake lines become ruptured or clogged, the fluid cannot flow through the lines, which in turn will ruin the brake pads.
Brake Fluid - The brake fluid can collect moisture and debris, causing it to clog and making your brake lines susceptible to rust. Excess heat from braking friction can also wear down and ruin the fluid over time. Clean brake fluid is clear or slightly yellow, while contaminated brake fluid is brown even black. Keeping dirty fluid in your braking system can wear down and damage the internal mechanisms of your vehicle.
Brake Pads/Shoes & Rotors/Drums – Brake pads and/or shoes are often made of metal, ceramic, or organic materials, while the rotors and drums themselves are made of metal. These components work in tandem to produce friction which slows and stops the car, but this stress will wear down the pieces over time. Worn brake pads or shoes can cause the metal of the attached calipers to grind against the rotors and drums, damaging them and putting the safety of the car at risk.
At All County Auto Repair & Tire, we perform a comprehensive evaluation and repair of all of your vehicle’s braking system elements, including:
- Replacing worn pads and shoes
- Replacing damaged calipers
- Repacking wheel bearings
- Adding extra lubrication as needed
- Adjusting the parking brake
- Draining and replacing old brake fluid
- Resurfacing and replacing motors and drums
- Repairing or replacing any additional components as needed
- Performing a professional road test to ensure all elements are working properly
How do you know it’s time for repairs?
Brakes will exhibit several signs when they are in need of repair. Some of the most common are:
- The brakes make grinding, squeaking, or squealing noises. This often means that the brake pads are worn out and need to be adjusted or replaced.
- The anti-lock braking system (ABS) light on the dashboard comes on. This means that the level of brake fluid is low, which often indicates a leak.
- The brakes are unresponsive. This is usually a sign of air in the brake lines or a low brake fluid level.
- The car pulls to one side while braking. This can mean worn brakes, leaking fluid, or the need for a brake adjustment.
- The vehicle shakes when braking. This often means that the brake rotors have warped and must be replaced.
These problems can seem intimidating, but the expert mechanics at All County Auto Repair & Tire know exactly how to handle them. Don’t risk a small brake issue turning into major damage--call to request a quote today!
Understand your car’s brake system
Learning the basics of your vehicle can help you to know when something is wrong and needs to be repaired. The following pieces are all important elements that keep your car’s braking system running smoothly.
Disc brakes are comprised of a disc brake rotor, which attaches to the wheel, and a caliper, which holds the disc brake pads in place. Hydraulic pressure created by the master cylinder causes the caliper piston to clamp the rotor between the disc brake pads, which in turn creates friction and slows the vehicle.
Drum brakes consist of a brake drum attached to the wheel, as well as brake shoes, a wheel cylinder, and brake return springs. Hydraulic pressure created by the master cylinder activates the wheel cylinder, which then presses the brake shoes against the brake drum, creating the friction which slows the vehicle.
A computer-controlled anti-lock braking system (ABS) prevent wheels from locking up when the brakes are activated. The system contains wheel-speed sensors that track wheel rotation, computer-controlled hydraulics that quickly pulse the brakes instead of clamping them down, and the on-board computer. An ABS ensure that the wheels don't stop rotating during braking, which in turn provides the driver with greater control and prevents the car from skidding or sliding. If your ABS light comes on, you should schedule an evaluation immediately.
The parking brake employs cables to mechanically apply the brakes, oftentimes the rear brakes, to keep the vehicle from rolling while it is parked.
How The Full System Works
When you press the brake pedal, you press against a plunger in the master cylinder, and brake fluid immediately rushes into the tubes and hoses, which carry to the braking unit at each wheel. Because brake fluid cannot compress, it travels through the network of tubes and hoses with a consistent pressure and speed. Since air can compress, any air that leaks into the system can create “sponginess” in the pedal, causing the brakes to feel inefficient. "Bleeder screws,” which are located at each wheel cylinder, remove air from the braking system, but some air may eventually become trapped and must be flushed out.
A car without proper brakes can be a danger to the driver, the passengers, and anyone else on the road. If your vehicle is displaying any warning signs or not operating the way it normally does, it is time to bring it in for an inspection right away. Whether it’s replacing rotors, aligning brake pads, or simply performing a routine check-up, the expert mechanics at All County Auto Repair & Tire have the expertise to keep you and your family safe on your travels. Call us today at 561-747-8320 for Tequesta and Jupiter or 772-266-8685 for Stuart, and we’ll be happy to give your car the professional maintenance it deserves.