Winter and vacation traveling are right around the corner; if you’re planning on traveling by car, you need a pre-winter brake service. Though just about every system can benefit from a checkup before cold weather sets in, it’s crucial that your brakes be in good working order before you take your family out on the road this year. Wet, icy, crowded roads are the perfect recipe for automobile accidents that can end your vacation before it begins. When taking your car in for brake service, these are the parts of the system that will be checked:
Brake Pads and Shoes
Brake pads and shoes are the first things a brake technician will check because, of all the parts in the braking system, they wear out the fastest. They contact brake rotors and drums every time the brakes are engaged and they work by clamping down on them. This means that every time they’re used, they wear down a little more. If your pads or shoes are worn down, your technician will replace them.
Rotors and Drums
Rotors and drums are attached to your car’s wheels and they spin with the wheels until you engage your brakes. The pads or shoes squeeze down on the rotors or drums to stop your car; this action wears down the pads and shoes, which will eventually leave only the hard metal underneath to grab your rotors or drums. This metal contacting the rotors and drums scratches grooves into them that not only makes your car emit a screeching sound when you step on your brakes, it also makes for less-efficient braking. Your technician will either “turn” your rotors to remove scratches or replace them.
Calipers and Wheel Cylinders
Calipers fit over rotors and wheel cylinders fit over drums. They are fitted with brake shoes or pads, which they bring into contact with the rotor or drum to stop your car. Your technician will check your calipers and wheel cylinders to ensure that they function properly and he will replace them if necessary.
The master brake cylinder is the heart of your car’s braking system. It is a hydraulic pump that pushes brake fluid through brake lines to calipers and wheel cylinders; this gives them the force needed to stop your car’s forward movement. Your technician will check your master cylinder, the brake fluid reservoir located above it and all of the brake lines leading from the master cylinder to your brakes. Replacing the master cylinder and/or replacing and “bleeding” the brake lines is an extensive repair but it can mean the difference between stopping and not stopping.
Wheel Bearings and Grease Seals
Wheel bearings don’t have a direct impact on stopping your car, but they do allow your car’s wheels to turn freely. The grease seals protect the bearings from outside dirt and debris. A good technician will check wheel bearings and seals to make sure they’re in good condition.
Parking Brake Cable
Though the parking brake isn’t something a lot of people routinely use, its condition should be checked by your repair technician to ensure that it will work when you need it to keep your car from rolling when it’s parked.
Don’t trust just anyone with your pre-winter brake service. Call us at Hughes Automotive in Tyler, TX at (903) 730-6788 or visit us online at www.hughesauto.biz to schedule an appointment for a brake checkup as soon as possible.
Hughes Automotive | Brake Service Tyler TX | (903) 730-6788