Brake Problems Demystified
April 1st, 2015
At Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service in Baton Rouge, LA, we often get questions about how a car’s brake system actually works. For drivers, it’s important to know these details, so let’s break it down briefly here:
Disc brakes operate when brake pads (lined with a friction material) grab a smooth steel rotor, similar to the way that bicycle handbrakes grip a rim to provide braking. Over time, the friction material wears down, reducing braking effectiveness. If neglected for too long, the friction material wears down completely, exposing the steel backing, which can cut grooves into the rotors’ surface. Older cars used drum brakes for the rear wheels; in this design, brake shoes expand internally and rub against the lining of a metal drum. Again, worn shoes will cut grooves into the drum’s surface, causing damage and eventually ruining them.
A typical brake job at Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service in Baton Rouge, LA includes:
- Replacement of brake pads and/or shoes
- Inspection of rotors and/or drums; if damaged the drums or rotors will be machined and resurfaced to meet factory spec again (if possible)
- Inspection of the car’s antilock braking system (ABS), a network of valves, sensors and other electronic parts that aid in your car’s braking control
- Inspection of master cylinder, hydraulic lines, individual wheel cylinders and calipers and power brake booster.
Is your car showing any of these problems?
- High-pitched squeal, grating, grinding or rubbing sounds while applying brakes
- Shimmy in steering wheel while braking
- Vibration or pulsing sensation through brake pedal while applying brakes
- Pronounced pull to one side while braking
Brake problems are always best addressed early...not just due to cost, but for your safety! And when it’s time for brake service, there’s no substitute for experience and top-quality parts and materials. If you suspect brake problems or other auto repair problems, call for an appointment with Chabill’s Tire & Auto Service in Baton Rouge, LA. Our seasoned, qualified techs will inspect your brake system and let you know the best course of action.
Posted in: Auto Repair 101