Handling your vehicle in rain and snow can be a challenge, especially if your brakes are in need of servicing. But did you know that even dry-weather driving can be improved by keeping your brakes serviced annually?
We often let our vehicles go longer than they should between check-ups, but regular maintenance on your car can make it handle better and prevent major problems.
Your brakes provide the most basic of functions for vehicle operation, but the braking system itself is very detailed and even a little complex. Let’s take a quick look at a few of the basic components of a brake system.
Brake Disc – The disc or rotor serves as a central component of your brake system. It’s the hub of activity. The disc is often made of synthetic materials mixed with flaked metal and bonded together to form a smooth surface. Your car’s brake discs are exceptionally strong; they have to be durable enough to endure the pressure and friction caused by brake pads.
Brake Pads – Your vehicle’s brake pads make direct contact with the brake discs, creating the friction that slows down your car and brings it to a stop. Brake pads are designed to resist over-heating and are made from ceramic, metal blends, glass and rubber blends, and may even contain traces of Kevlar.
Caliper – This component holds your vehicle’s brake pad in position and presses it against the rotor when you activate the brake. While racing vehicles are often equipped with lightweight aluminum alloy calipers, most highway-grade vehicles have heavy cast iron calipers. The caliper’s pistons are often constructed of stainless steel to ensure strength and durability.
These are only three of the foundational components of your vehicle’s brake system, but there are many more parts to consider. Brake shoes, caliper pins, caliper brackets, the master cylinder, brake lines, and even brake fluid must be checked and maintained to ensure a properly functioning brake system. If any single member of the brake system doesn’t function properly, the whole system could fail, leaving you in a dangerous situation on the highway. That’s why it’s important to have your brakes maintained and serviced on a regular schedule. An ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure when it comes to keeping your car operating at peak performance. The more miles you put on your vehicle, the more frequently you need to have a technician check for potential problems and make the necessary corrections.