What is it?
A car’s brake system is simple yet crucial to the safety of the driver and passengers.
What does it do?
Brakes use fluid pressure to stop the wheels from turning, which in turn slows down or stops the car. The heart of the system is the brake pedal, which the driver presses to activate the brakes. The pedal is connected to a master cylinder, which houses a piston that multiplies the force of the driver’s foot. This piston then activates the brakes at each wheel. The front brakes are usually more powerful than the rear ones, as they have to do more work to stop the car. When the driver presses the pedal, fluid is sent from the master cylinder to each wheel, where it activates a caliper. This caliper grabs hold of the brake pads, which press against the rotor (a disc that turns with the wheel) to slow it down. All of these parts work together to provide stopping power when you need it most.
Typical Wear and Tear
The average car owner does not think about their brakes until there is a problem. However, it is important to be familiar with the typical wear and tear so that you can spot problems early and avoid more serious repairs down the road. Over time, the friction from braking will cause the pads to wear down. In addition, the metal components of the brakes can also become worn with time and use. When this happens, they will need to be replaced.
- Squealing or grinding noises
- Pulling to one side when you brake
- The brake pedal feels “spongy”
- Is slow to return to its normal position
- Takes longer than usual to stop
- Decreased response time