Most of us take the brakes for granted, we ussually just press them and the car halts. Although you may think that’s all there is to it, brakes use a lot of consumables, which means they wear out and need constant servicing.
Still wonder why brakes are important? Well, consider this: the pedal, the master cylinder, some hoses, two pads squeezing the rotors on each weel, are the only things stopping the car. Just imagine how much force is needed to stop the aproximatly 2-tonne steel mass that your car is, when it’s going at just 60kmh. So, if you care about your safety the braking system on your car should always be in mint condition.
The most common mistake is believing that the only parts that need replacing are the break pads.It’s true that pads wear out preetty quick and need to be replaced quite often, but other parts of the braking system like the bake fluid, rotors and brake lines need your attention on a regular basis.An unevenly worn rotor causes vibration and reduces efficiency, a puncture in the brake line will cause a leak which also causes a loss in hydraulic pressure. Also, as most of us never question the benefits of a regular oil change, you should take into account replacing the brake fluid because it’s a hydraulic substance and over time it loses some of its properties.
The good thing is that most mechanical problems caused by the braking system appear just like symptoms, so you can take action before they become critical. Here are somesigns you should pay attention to:
Metallic noise when braking – your pads need to be replaced
The pedal feels spongy or wooden – there might be a leak in the break line
The pedal needs to be pressed harder and harder – you may need a system flush or to replace the braking fluid
The steering wheel vibrates during braking – this ussually is a sign of an uneven worn rotor