The time to check your brakes for excessive wear is before you notice a problem. The car repair experts at Master Muffler South Ogden keep you in the know when it comes to brakes and brake repair.

How Often Should I Check My Brakes?

We often take for granted that our vehicles will start when we turn the key in the ignition and that they’ll continue to operate perfectly until we’re ready to purchase a new car. However, if we neglect routine maintenance, we may find ourselves with car trouble more often than we expect.

Master Muffler recommends you have your brakes checked every six months. If you couple this inspection with routine tire rotation and oil changes, it’s easy to remember the last time you had it done. Driving conditions and driving style may necessitate that you have your brakes checked more often, so talk with your mechanic if you have any concerns.

What’s in My Brake System?

You may be familiar with the different types of brakes, but here’s a run-down of what’s in each braking system.

  • Brake Pedal
  • Brake Booster
  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake Lines and Hoses
  • Calipers and Pistons
  • Brake Pads or Shoes
  • Rotor or Drums
  • Brake Fluid
  • Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

Let’s take a look at some of the primary components in a braking system.

Disc Brakes 

Disc brakes can be on all four wheels or just the front ones. They consist of brake pads, which press against a disc (also known as a rotor) to slow a vehicle and bring it to an eventual stop. In a disc brake system, the brake pads are attached to a caliper assembly, which is around the disc itself.

Drum Brakes 

Drum brakes are most commonly found on rear wheels only. They have wheel cylinders, brake shoes, and a brake drum. To slow a vehicle, the brake drum forces the shoes into the wheel cylinders.

Emergency Brake

Does your vehicle also have an Emergency Brake or E-Brake? This can be a hand-operated lever between the two front seats or an additional pedal that can be depressed under the dash. Also known as a parking brake, the E-Brake adds an extra level of safety to a vehicle. It can be an additional braking system when your vehicle is parked, or an emergency backup should your primary braking system fail.

ABS

This system is responsible for detecting when a wheel locks up. A vehicle’s wheels must keep spinning when braking to avoid uncontrolled skidding. When the ABS is working, it helps restore rotation of the tires so you can gain traction when braking.

Regardless of the type of braking system your vehicle has, non-hydraulic pressure is being converted to hydraulic pressure to bring your vehicle to a safe stop. You need force to be amplified to create the right amount of friction to safely slow your vehicle. There are also a plethora of sensors to monitor tire speed, apply the correct amount of pressure, and ensure there are no issues in the system.

Signs My Brakes Are Going Bad

If, between scheduled visits at Master Muffler South Ogden, you notice any of the following when driving, bring your car in sooner.

  • Illuminated dashboard brake light
  • Squealing, squeaking, or grinding when  braking
  • Wobbling, vibration, or pulling to the side when braking
  • Soft or spongy brake pedal (no resistance when depressed)
  • Burning smell, or smoke coming from wheel wells
  • Delayed response when braking

Ways to Make Your Brakes Last

You can prolong the life of your braking system by changing your driving habits. While you can’t change where you’re driving (city driving wears brakes down faster the rural driving), avoid excessive or sudden braking, and remove any unneeded weight from your vehicle. Increase brake pad longevity by cleaning them to remove any debris that may increase friction. Bringing your car to Master Muffler South Ogden for regular car repair and maintenance can give a mechanic a chance to inspect your braking system for any problems. As with any auto repair, catching something early can reduce the severity of the issues, as well as the costs to fix them. If you have questions about any sounds your vehicle makes while braking, or if you can see uneven wear on your brake pads through the wheel spokes, get in touch with us today. Contact us online HERE, or call (801) 528-9115.