Maintaining proper performing brakes and brake systems is crucial for any car owner. Overlooking an improperly functioning heater or power window is one thing, but failing to take care of your European auto’s brake system can lead to dangerous driving situations. This is one area of car care that not only can affect you and your passengers, but also the safety of your fellow drivers.
Driving with faulty brakes is extremely dangerous and should be avoided at all costs to prevent accidents and collision. Additionally, maintaining your brake system will ensure your investment is operating with proper performance and control.
At Triangle Imports, our auto repair technicians understand the importance of regular brake maintenance and also what it takes to repair even the most uncommon of brake related issues that may arise. Our team members have extensive dealership experience and are fully certified to industry standards to assure you a quality repair.
How Brakes Work
When the driver presses the brake pedal, fluid is forced through brake lines from the master cylinder by a hydraulic system into a caliper that applies pressure to a piston. The pressure from the caliper forces the brake pads against the rotor to slow the vehicles axle, allowing the car to reduce speed and ultimately stop.
Common Brake Problems
Cars are typically designed to distribute the majority of braking power to the front brakes due to physics. A large proportion of the vehicle weight is located in the front due to the engine, and as a result, the extra weight pulls the vehicle forward during braking. Thus, more power is needed here to brake against the momentum of your car.
This causes uneven wear between front and rear brakes. It is very common to find front brakes wearing out 10 to 20 thousand miles before rear brake systems. However, no matter what industry standards are, ultimately how you drive and the conditions you drive in have the final impact on how long your brakes will last.
Remember, brake wear is based on pressure, heat, and friction. The goal of the brakes is to stop your car and over time they will need to be replaced.
Symptoms of Brake Wear
- Pedal almost touches floor when pressed
- Squealing and/or grinding when applying brakes
- Vehicle pulls to one side
- Vehicle requires applying more pressure in order to stop
Benefits of Keeping Brakes in Proper Working Condition
- Consistent stopping
- Smooth stopping
- Even braking
- Reduce wear on vehicle components
What Wears Brakes Down?
- Carrying heavy loads
- High amount of braking
- Riding brakes
- Braking from high speeds regularly
- Heavy braking
- Driving in hilly areas
Service and Maintenance for Brakes
The brake repair technicians of Triangle Imports will conduct a thorough inspection of your car to determine the best course of action for your car.
Our inspection process includes an in depth review of the entire braking system and all its components.
Inspect Proper Brake Pad and Rotor Wear
- Check for even wear
- Check thickness
- Check discs
- Check for proper function
- Test mechanically
- Test electronically
Different Brake Systems
The brakes on your European car are made up of numerous parts that work in conjunction to achieve optimal performance. Your vehicles braking system includes:
- Disks and/or drums
- Power booster
- Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Uses calipers to press pads against rotor disk to slow vehicle by creating enough friction between the pads and disc that the vehicle safely reduces speed or comes to a complete stop.
Disk brakes should be replaced when the wear becomes uneven wear or before the pads deteriorate to a metal on metal scenario. Waiting too long to replace disk brakes can cause issues with your rotors or even prevent you from stopping.
Rotors and Drums
Drums use pads that press outward against the inner surface of the rotating wheel cylinder to slow and stop.
Waiting too long to repair or replace worn brakes can lead to warped rotors. High levels of heat and pressure can cause warping and bending, reducing the life of your brake pads and your tires. Warped rotors must be replaced for optimal driving and safety.
Taking proper care of your brake system with regular maintenance and following good driving practices can help to eliminate unnecessary costs for brake repair.
Over time, worn brake pads can dig grooves that can reduce the effectiveness of the rotor. If your rotors have enough surface area remaining they can be smoothed by shaving the rotor surface to a smooth state.
Resurfacing can reduce squealing and wobbles.
Brake maintenance is not just for the hardware of your car, but also for the fluid and hoses.
Caliper Replacement – failing calipers reduce even braking and can be dangerous if left unchecked.
Hoses – carry pressurized fluid to brakes from the master cylinder. Lines and hoses should be replaced if cracked or worn. Bad brake lines can lead to total brake failure if loose or degraded. Brake lines have a high pressure load within them and a pinhole can prevent the pressure you placed on the brake pedal from being distributed to the calipers.
Fluid Flush and Replacement – A regular fluid flush will reduce water build up in the brake lines. Water can destroy the quality of the brake fluid, and cause deteriorating brake lines and components.
Choose Our Raleigh European Auto Technicians For Your Brake Repair
No matter how careful you drive, your cars brake pads will wear down over time. By scheduling routine maintenance and by bringing your car to our Raleigh import auto service center at the earliest sign of wear will help to reduce the cost you will pay on your brake repair and help keep you driving safely.