The braking system is your car’s most important safety system. Here is a brief explanation of how brakes work: When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (Drum brakes) or pads against the rotors (Disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the amount of force applied at the brake pedal.
So never put off routine brake inspections or any needed repair, so that you can stay safe. Brakes are a normal wear item for any car. If you wait too long, and get to the metal-on-metal point, this usually means more expensive rotor or drum replacements. The typical “brake-job” consists of brake pad and/or shoe replacement, along with related hardware. Depending on the condition or thickness of the drums or rotors, resurfacing or replacement may also be necessary. The following symptoms tell you that your car needs its brakes checked and or replaced:
- The car pulls to one side during braking.
- The brake pedal pulsates when you apply the brakes.
- The brake pedal feels mushy.
- You hear noise when you step on the brake pedal.
- You repeatedly need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder.
- Your “Brake Light” is on in the dashboard.
**Your car owner’s manual might specify periodic flushing and filling of the brake hydraulic system. Contaminated brake fluid may lead to erosion and other problems in the hydraulic system, especially on cars with ABS brakes.