Brakes are one of the most essential parts of your car. Without them, you would not dare to drive anywhere. Therefore, keeping them in shape and replacing them when they need it is important. However, how do you know when your brakes need taken to your automotive repair shop? To know this, you must first understand how brakes work.
Brakes: How Do They Work?
On most cars, four brakes keep you from colliding with things. The front two brakes are disc and pad brakes, while the rear two are usually of the drum and shoe variety. Two components can wear out in each case. The first are the moving components, which are the pad and shoe, and the second is the unmoving component, or the disc and drum. In the disc and pad variety of brake, the pads are held on either side of the metal disc in a pair of calipers.
When you press on the brake pedal, the calipers close and the pads press against the disc. The resulting friction slows the wheels. On the drum and shoe brake, a hollow metal drum has two curved pads (called shoes) that press against the metal from the inside. The friction between the shoe and the drum slows the wheel rotation.
Why Do Brakes Need Service?
There are several reasons your brakes can need serviced. The most common is when the material on the pads or shoes wears down. Another common reason is that either the movable or the stationary part has been exposed to too much heat. This causes the material to harden. When it hardens, there is a loss of friction between the parts, so braking becomes more difficult. A less common reason for brake replacement is when grease or oil contaminates the pad or shoe. The lubricant reduces the friction between the moving and nonmoving parts, reducing the efficiency of the brakes.
How Do You Know When to Take Them in for Service?
You will know that your brakes need looked at when you experience one or more of the following symptoms:
- Your brakes feel different. You drive your car every day. If there is a change in how your car brakes, schedule an appointment with an automotive repair specialist right away.
- Grinding, squeaking, or clicking noises can be heard while braking. This can indicate that your pads are worn down. Get them changed to avoid expensive repairs to the discs or drums.
- Having the car pull to one side or another while braking. This can be caused by one brake losing efficiency. Schedule service to avoid problems.
- A strange shuddering or pulsing in the brake pedal when braking. Uneven friction between the pad and disc or drum can cause this feedback.
Brakes do not get a lot of attention when you talk about your car. However, they are one of the most important parts. Paying attention to what your car is trying to tell you will let you know when your brakes need replaced. Visit a repair shop like Care Muffler & Brake Shop for more information.