Brakes are possibly the most important safety device on your car. If you’ve ever partially lost your brakes in the past, you’ll agree it’s not something you want to experience again. Inspect your brakes twice a year for wear and damage to protect yourself and your passengers. You will also save money by catching damage before it becomes too costly.
Call or visit Shaffer’s Auto Body today, where our expert technicians can check and repair your vehicle’s brakes.
Vital Brake System Components
The master cylinder is the heart of a vehicle’s braking system. It holds the brake fluid when it is not being delivered to the brakes through the brake lines. If brake fluid leaks because the master cylinder is worn or brake lines are plugged or broken, the fluid cannot be delivered, and the brake pads will be dangerously ineffective.
The brake fluid itself can become dirty or contaminated as it draws rust-causing moisture and picks up other debris, or it can break down from excess heat. Clean brake fluid is either clear or slightly yellow, while dirty brake fluid may be brown or even black. Old or dirty brake fluid can damage ABS brake systems internally.
The combination valve connects the master cylinder to the brake lines. It combines a metering valve and aproportioning valve, which regulate the pressure on the front and rear wheels to make sure both sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. A malfunctioning combination valve may cause the wheels to lock up.
Brake pads and shoes:
Brake pads and shoes can be made of ceramic, metal or organic materials. The disc rotors and drums they press against are made of metal. Because the pads and shoes create friction to stop the car, they gradually wear down over time and may wear away completely. This lets the metal of the calipers and cylinders grind against and damage the rotors and drums. Some pads have a metal strip attached that sounds a warning whistle when the pad becomes too worn, but this strip only sounds when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.