Today’s vehicle braking systems involve many different components working together to help you to stop and manoeuvre your vehicle in a controlled manner. The key components of your vehicle braking system include a master cylinder, servo, brake callipers, brake fluid and cylinders, disks, drums, pads and shoes. All the components are linked by a series of brake hoses and brake pipes containing brake fluid, so when you press your brake pedal the vehicle slows down and stops. The rate at which your brakes reduce the vehicle speed is determined by the amount and duration of foot pressure is applied to your brake pedal, and of course the condition your braking system is in. Whilst regular servicing will check the boiling point of your brake fluid to establish whether it is still working well, vehicle manufacturers recommend that you change your brake fluid a maximum of every 2 years if not advised to before. Changing brake fluid when recommended prevents brake failure.
Like all components, brake parts deteriorate over time and because it happens gradually, many people don’t notice the difference in their braking system. Having your brakes checked regularly will save you time and money by preventing damage to the bigger, more expensive components.
Symptoms of Brake system problems
There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for when using your brakes, these include:
A grinding noise when you apply the brakes or a pull to the left or right. The grinding normally means that brake pads are excessively worn and need to be replaced along with the damaged brake discs.
A pull to the left or right is normally indicative of a sticking or seized mechanical or hydraulic component.
A “pulsating” from the pedal or a “spongy” feeling usually indicates that there is air in the hydraulic system due to a brake fluid leak. The “pulsating” feel is normally associated with a distorted brake disc or drum.
Some cars will display a warning light when the brake pads or low or an ABS braking system failure. If a light isn’t lit, this doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem.
It’s important to have your vehicle inspected as quickly as possible if you notice any of these symptoms. FermoyGarage offers free brake checks without obligation. Just call in to us.