The brake system for your car is more than just the pedal. There are various pieces and components interlocking and working together to slow and stop your vehicle. A problem with one of these pieces, even a small one, could inhibit your ability to brake. Also, because braking relies on friction, the parts will quickly wear out. As a responsible driver you need to have your brakes regularly checked in. That way you can stay ahead of any major damage and get the replaced when necessary. How Brakes Commonly Work Different types of brakes have different parts. However, for the most part, service brakes work like this. When you step on the brake pedal you engage a plunger inside the master cylinder. This releases hydraulic oil, aka brake fluid, through a series of tubes and hoses. These liquid does not compress, and while it moves fluidly through the lines to each braking unit, it is as strong as a steel bar. With disk brakes the fluid then moves into a caliper. There it presses against at piston that squeezes the brake pads against the rotors. This forces the car to slow down, and stop. With drum brakes the fluid moves into the wheel cylinder, and presses the brake shoes out. The linings on the shoes press against the drums, causing the wheel to slow and stop. Most Common Brake Repairs Depending on what is going wrong, technicians have several options for fixing your brakes. These include: 1. Shoe Replacement This is one of the most basic brake repairs. It involves replacing the pads the rub on the rotors and drums. Usually technicians recommend you get show or pad replacements every 20,000 miles. But depending on the make and model of your vehicle, and your driving style, some brake shoes can last for 50,000 miles or more. As soon as your brakes start to squeal or stick, get to a service station for a check or repair. 2. Brake Line Replacement This is an emergency-style repair. The brake fluid keeps everything in working order. It not only needs to be devoid of air, but also needs to be clean. Even the smallest hole in the lines can lead to contamination and huge problems. You might notice a spongey feel to the brake pedal, or your car becomes very difficult to stop. Sometimes technicians can patch a brake line, but often they will need to completely replace it. 3. Master Cylinder Replacement This brake repair is rare. This is the part of the brake system that regulate the pressure of the brake fluid as it moves through the lines and into calipers. It contains pistons and valves, and was built to last for the duration of a vehicle’s lifespan. However, that doesn’t mean nothing will ever go wrong. From time to time dirt can get into the system and wreak havoc on those small pistons. At this point technicians prefer to replace the entire master cylinder instead of waste time figuring out which tiny piece has been compromised. 4. Bleeding the Brake Lines This process involves draining the brake lines and replacing old or compromised fluid with fresh stuff. Usually technicians will bleed the lines after any brake repair. They want to be sure the fluid is free of air and the lines are full. 5. Miscellaneous Part Replacements As said, there are several parts and pieces to the brake system. Some are big and some are small, but any one of them could wear out or break down. Just the caliper, the part that holds the pad in place, consists of a large metal arm, pistons, pins, shims, screws, springs, and boots. If any one of these parts degrades it might put you in danger by rendering your brakes unusable. Have more questions about common brake repairs in Chevy Chase, MD
? Contact Auto Clinic Care. You can reach us or stop by at 5531 Nicholson Ln., Ste. A, Rockville, MD 20852.