Brake service is crucial to your safety when driving a car. Your vehicle’s brake system has one job – stop your vehicle. But it takes several key components to deliver that singular end result.
To bring a vehicle to a halt, three things are necessary: leverage, hydraulic force and friction. Leverage is supplied by the driver’s leg pressure and the brake pedal. The pedal is connected by levers and rods to the back of the power booster. The power booster uses either engine vacuum or a hydraulic pump to multiply and transfer the force of that leverage to the master cylinder. The master cylinder is the heart of your vehicle’s brake hydraulic system. It uses applied leverage to force a reservoir full of brake fluid through valves, steel lines and rubber hoses into hydraulic calipers and wheel cylinders. That hydraulic pressure is then used to help create friction.
When our skilled staff members check for worn and failing brakes, you can be sure that we take the utmost care to perform a thorough inspection. We check disc brakes, drum brakes and all the brake line that connects the braking system together. Even a small leak in a brake hose can cause an unsafe condition, so we make sure they are always intact when you come into Wallace Autos for service.
Diagnosing & Reparing Brake Systems
Our team has an excellent track record in diagnosing and fixing all brake problems, including changing brake pads and brake shoes, repairing or replacing leaking wheel cylinders, adjusting the parking brake and making sure your power brake booster is working correctly. Most modern cars have anti-lock brake systems, or ABS. This special braking feature allows drivers to use the physical advantage inherent in brakes that the best stopping power occurs just before the pedal is fully depressed. In the past, people used this knowledge to stop their cars by pumping the brakes with their foot. Now, the anti-lock brake system mimics the same pumping motion to stop your car. The ABS in a car is usually fairly reliable, but if there are any problems, our technicians know the ins and outs of fixing anti-lock brakes. No matter what your braking problem, bring your car in to Wallace Autos for a full evaluation. Our service technicians will find out the condition of your braking system. Since our service staff is also skilled at repairing or replacing brake parts, you can count on leaving Wallace Autos with a working and safe set of brakes.
Front brake pads provide up to 70% of a vehicles stopping power. In general, front brake pads wear out twice as fast as rear brake pads, roughly a 2 to 1 ratio on a standard disc/drum brake combination, this will be slightly different on a disc/disc arrangement due to the efficiency of a rear disc brake versus drums. Disc brakes have a definite braking power advantage over drum style brakes and performance is not compromised as much when wet or hot. Some disc brakes utilize cooling fins in-between the braking surfaces of the rotor to maximize cooling efficiency. Replacing brake rotors can vary depending on the make and model of car or truck, two or four wheel drive, front or rear wheel drive. Always replace brake rotors with top quality or OEM (original equipment manufacturer) brake rotors, some less expensive brake rotors can squeak and may not dissipate heat or perform as well because of their inferior metal quality. The same applies to the brake pads; they should be high quality (OEM) to ensure proper performance.
When is it time to replace the brake pads?
When the pads get worn down, they have a cheap, built-in alarm system. A little tab of metal begins to make contact with the disk brake every time you stop, creating a high-pitched squeal. This squealing sound is your signal that it is time to replace the brake pads. If you ignore this sound, your brakes will grind through the final layers of brake pad material, and start to press steel plates against your iron disk brakes whenever you apply the brakes. You will probably keep stopping the car, but each time you stop, you will be crushing, etching, scarring, warping, marring, twisting and grinding up an expensive little clockwork of machinery that surrounds your wheels.
When you hear the squealing brakes, Wallace Autos recommends scheduling an appointment as soon as possible to eliminate the need for more costly repairs.