Brakes are an essential part of your vehicle. Without working brakes, you’d be putting your own life and that of other drivers at risk. It’s estimated that about 5% of the 5.6 million automobile accidents that happen in the United State each year are caused by brake failure.
Your brakes work using a hydraulic clamp that slows your wheels to a complete stop. There are several key elements of your car’s braking system that need to be checked on a regular basis.
It’s recommended that you get your brakes checked at least twice each year. However, if you’re clocking up high mileage, you may want to increase the frequency of those checks. With so many elements of your brakes to consider, you’ll need to see a brake specialist.
How do you go about finding a specialist who will not only provide the best brake repair deals, but who will also carry out the highest standard of service to your vehicle?
Here’s everything you need to know about finding an expert brake specialist.
Look for an Honest Brake Specialist
When you’re looking for someone to either perform work such as a brake caliper repair or to make some routine checks on your brakes, you’ll want to be sure you’re dealing with an honest mechanic.
It’s very easy to get drawn in by offers and gimmicks, but you don’t want to pay for something you don’t need.
How can you tell if your brake specialist is upfront with you? If they’re telling you your car needs work, how can you tell that it’s not just a ploy to get you to pay for repairs that you don’t need?
First of all, if you’re unsure of anything a mechanic tells you about the repairs your car needs, ask them to explain those repairs. It’s not unheard of for mechanics to try to bamboozle motorists with faults that don’t even exist.
Second, ask the mechanic to show you the damaged part. They should be able to demonstrate to you specifically how a part is worn or broken. An honest mechanic will often be upfront and show you the part unprompted.
Find Out What Your Mechanic Will Be Inspecting
When you’re looking for a brake specialist who will carry out the necessary checks to make sure your brakes are working safely, find out exactly what they’re testing.
The brake system has several key components: the brake pads, the discs or drums attached to the wheel that the pads make contact with, the calipers that push the brake pad into the wheel, and the brake line that controls the calipers.
All of these essential elements need to be checked and tested to ensure that your vehicle’s braking system is in full working order.
Brake Pad Inspection
Your brake pads will be in frequent contact with your brake drums or discs. Over time, this will wear down the pads.
Once your pads have worn to a certain level, your brakes will start to make a loud, high-pitched sound when you’re slowing or stopping. This is an indicator that your brake pads need to be replaced.
Without adequate brake pads, your car will not stop safely.
Disc Brake Checks
Disc brakes provide more precise braking that drums. These will be exposed to elements on the road, such as dirt and grease, and they will also be making continued contact with the brake pads. If your brake pads are worn down too low, this can cause damage to the discs.
An inspection of the discs is an essential part of your vehicle’s brake system safety check.
Brake Drum Inspections
Some cars will have brake drums with which the brake shoes or pads will make contact. The friction between the shoes (or pads) and the inside of the drum will help to slow the vehicle down.
Over time, brake drums will deteriorate due to the amount of contact that they have with the brake pads. Therefore, your brake specialist will need to check the drums during your vehicle’s brake inspection.
Brake Caliper Checks
Your brake calipers press your pads into the drum or discs. These need to be able to move without seizing up.
An inspection of your brake calipers will make sure that the hydraulic system moves in the correct manner and that the callipers can open and close as required.
Brake Line Checks
A thorough brake check will look at the levels of brake fluid in the lines. If there is an insufficient amount of brake fluid, the brakes won’t work as they should.
A visual inspection can help identify any areas of the line that have deteriorated over time. If holes form in the brake line, this can cause a leak of brake fluid and a loss of pressure that will keep your brakes from working at all.
Parking Brake Cable Repair and Inspection
The parking (or emergency) brake cable on your car is designed to engage your brake pads without the use of the hydraulic system. This is accomplished with the handbrake.
The brake cable is used when the vehicle is at a stop or parked, or in an emergency, when the hydraulic brakes fail.
Over time, it is possible for a brake cable to stretch. This can happen when the vehicle is repeatedly parked at a high gradient. Brake cables may also deteriorate, or fray. All of these things will increase the risk of the cable snapping and causing brake failure.
Therefore, it is important that your brake specialist also check the brake cable during the inspection.
Make an Appointment with a Brake Specialist Today
Whether your vehicle is due for a routine brake inspection, or you’re worried that it’s showing signs of a problem, you need a trustworthy brake specialist who will make sure your car is safe.
AJ’s Station provides honest and upfront service that will give you the peace of mind that, when you put your foot on the brake, your vehicle is going to stop safely. Contact us today to schedule a comprehensive brake inspection for your vehicle.