The brakes on your vehicle are important, but do you know how they work? The brakes operate hydraulically, meaning they use fluid to transfer the power of your foot on the pedal to the actual brakes on the wheels. The master cylinder is the starting point of that power flow. If the master cylinder is faulty, it cannot exert enough power to push the fluid to the brakes, so you should always inspect the master cylinder and brake lines for damage. Additionally, the brake fluid should be inspected for cleanliness.
Brake calipers, pads and rotors all work together to stop your vehicle. When you step on your brake pedal, the master cylinder sends fluid to the brake calipers which squeeze together, exerting pressure on the brake pads. It’s important to have the calipers inspected often for signs of wear or damage.
When the calipers squeeze, the brake pads clamp down on the rotors in order to slow your car. If your brake pads are worn, they can’t make a smooth connection with the rotors and this can actually damage your rotors with rough spots and uneven grooves. Rotor repairs can be very costly so always make sure your brake pads are sized to specifications and that they’re not worn down too far. Most brake pads come with wear indicators that will make a squealing sound to let you know it’s time for replacement. It’s best to replace them before you hear a squeal and check your brake rotors often to be sure that there is no irregular wear or damage.
Sticking to the schedule specified in your owner’s manual, or by us is what is best for your vehicle. If you notice the brake pedal too soft or too hard, make sure to schedule an appointment so we are able to check for the cause of the issue, and fix it. By catching an issue at the first sign, you can save time, money, and stress in the long run.