Brakes are important, here is how they work.
For professional brake service that combines courtesy with knowledgeable care, come see our team of ASE Certified Technicians today. We are always striving to be the best in all auto repairs as well as when caring for your braking system, ensuring a safe and smooth driving experience.
We will inspect the following brake components when you come to see us.
- Disc Brakes – Disc brake rotors and pads, calipers, and hardware
- Drum Brakes – Brake drums and shoes, wheel cylinders, return springs
- Emergency or Parking Brake – Cables
- Hydraulic System – Master cylinder, Brake fluid and hoses, Power booster
Over 100 years of constant innovation has gone in to making your braking system what it is today. The original braking units were crude devices that made for a rough stop. Now, your brakes are efficient pieces of machinery that will glide you to a stop with ease.
Your vehicle has a brake system that is unique to it, but most cars and trucks have disc brakes on the front wheels and either disc or drum brakes in the rear. Hydraulic fluid is the life blood of your brake system, and is supplied through a series of tubes and hoses that run the length of the vehicle.
All of your braking equipment can be lumped into two general categories: Hydraulics, and Friction Material.
Hydraulics Master Cylinder:
When you push down on the brake pedal, the master cylinder converts the pressure from your foot into hydraulic pressure. That hydraulic pressure moves brake fluid into the wheel brakes and causes your vehicle to come to a stop.
Brake Lines and Hoses:
These components deliver the brake fluid to the braking unit on each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers:
The wheel cylinders are surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons which connect the brake shoe and the piston drum. To push the brake shoe into the drum and slow down or stop the car, all you have to do is apply pressure to the brake pedal. Calipers work by simply squeezing down brake pads onto the rotor of the wheel to stop the car. Both of these examples use friction materials to apply pressure.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes
Disc brakes are quite simple – the fluid released by the master cylinder forces pressure into a caliper, which presses against a piston. The piston squeeze the two brake pads together around the rotor, creating friction and stopping the wheels. Alternatively, drum brakes press a steel shoe against the wheel with some type of friction material bonded to it.
Bringing the Braking System Together
As your foot presses down against the brake pedal, brake fluid is released into the system of tubes and hoses which run out to each wheel. The brake pedal is directly connected to a plunger in the master cylinder which allows you to release the fluid with a simple push of the pedal. Since brake fluid can’t be compressed, it will maintain its size and provide an equal pressure out onto the wheels as you have provided onto the pedal. If you happen to get air in the brake lines, the pedal will feel ‘soft’ and your brakes will not be as responsive. There are screws installed at each wheel cylinder that allow for a technician to bleed air out of the line and restore the power to your braking system.
Obviously, a car with a damaged braking system is a very dangerous thing. Here are a few warning signs that you should pay attention to and have looked at by our experienced team if they come up.
Squealing or Grinding Noises
If your brakes are noisy when in use, this could be a sign that the brake pads are worn or that you need to have the brakes adjusted by a professional.
ABS Light Turns On
Don’t ignore the ABS warning light on your dash – it is telling you that brake fluid is low. There may be a leak in one of the lines, so get it inspected right away.
Car Pulls to the Side while Braking
This is a sure sign that one or more of your brakes is not working properly. There are a number of possible causes, so get it in to see us right away for a diagnosis.
Brakes are Hard or Spongy
Most commonly, this is a sign of air in the brake lines or low brake fluid.
Vehicle Shakes while Braking
Your brake rotors may be warped and no longer provide a flat surface for the brakes to apply friction. They may need to be replaced.
If you are having any of these issues and need a brake repair shop in Issaquah don’t hesitate to give us a call today!