Understanding Your Vehicle’s Brake System

No matter the make or model of your car, the brakes are certainly one of the most fundamental and valuable components. Properly functioning brake systems prevent an infinite number of dangerous events from happening, keeping you, your passengers, and other commuters on the road safe. Driving with an improperly functioning heater or something else along those lines poses no immediate threat to your safety, but commuting with improperly functioning breaks certainly does.

Driving with faulty brakes is never a wise idea, which is why it is extremely important to regularly maintain your brake system. Doing so drastically decreases the chances of accidents and collisions and keeps your brakes operating for longer periods of time.

Can My Brakes Be Repaired

Regardless of what car you may have, our auto repair technicians can help. With an extensive background in brake maintenance for even the most uncommon of brakes and cars, we are equipped to provide you with quality repair. Our mechanics thoroughly understand the importance of regular brake maintenance, which is why we ensure that your repair is done to the best of our abilities.

How Do Brakes Work?

Your brakes work through a chain of rapid actions. When the brake pedal is pressed, fluid from the master cylinder is pushed through the brake lines by a hydraulic system. The fluid goes through the brake lines into a caliper, which then applies pressure to a piston. When pressure is applied to the piston, the brake pads that are located against the rotor then slow the vehicle’s axle, prompting the entire vehicle to immediately reduce speed and come to a stop.

What are Common Brake Problems?

Most cars are engineered with the majority of the braking power in the front brakes. This is because a good amount of the vehicle weight is stored in the front, as this is where your car’s engine is located. Consequently, this is where a significant amount of the braking power must reside to combat the natural momentum of the car and slow down the entire vehicle.

This results in unequal wear between the front and rear brakes, so much so, that it is not uncommon for front brakes to wear out 10 to 20 thousand miles before the rear brakes. However, the ultimate determining factors of the longevity of your brakes are the manner in which you drive, as well as the conditions in which you drive. So, aggressive drivers who are heavy on their brakes will obviously wear them out faster than an individual who drives more calmly.

However, no matter how you drive, your brakes inevitably need to be both maintained and eventually replaced, as they operate with pressure, heat, and friction.

Signs Your Brakes Need Replacing

  • When pressed, your pedal nearly touches the floor
  • When your brakes are applied, you hear squealing, grinding, or other unusual noises
  • Your vehicle naturally pulls to one side
  • Your vehicle requires more pressure than usual in order to stop

Benefits of Regular Brake Maintenance

  • Reduced wear on vehicle components
  • Safety
  • Consistent stopping
  • Smooth stopping
  • Even braking

What Causes Brakes to Wear Down Faster?

Aside from your driving itself, there are a few things that can cause your brakes to become worn down more quickly. Some of these things include:

  • Riding brakes
  • Excessive amount of braking
  • Regular, abrupt braking from high speeds
  • Driving in hilly areas
  • Heavy braking
  • Transporting heavy loads

What Our Brake Repair and Maintenance Involve

Since brakes are incredibly important, our certified technicians will thoroughly inspect your car and brakes to determine what specifically needs to be done in order to best benefit your car and ensure your safety. Our inspection involves a meticulous set of procedures that ultimately check and ensure that upon leaving, all aspects of your braking system function exceptionally.

Brake Pads and Rotor Wear

  • Ensure/check for even wear
  • Ensure/check for proper thickness
  • Ensure/check for proper functioning of discs

Brake Calipers

  • Ensure/check for proper functioning
  • Conduct mechanical test
  • Conduct electronic test>

Different Brake Systems

As previously mentioned, your brakes operate through a set of several interworking parts. To ensure complete and optimal functioning, our team ensures that all of the following parts are properly working:

Main Brakes

  • Disks and/or Drums

Secondary Brakes

  • Parking
  • Power booster
  • Anti-locking Braking System (ABS)

Disk Brakes

Disk brakes leverage the calipers to push the brake pads against the rotor disk, which subsequently slows the vehicle. The friction between the brake pads and the rotor disk safely brings the vehicle to a stop.

When the wear becomes uneven or when the brake pads have almost deteriorated down to only metal, this is an indication that the disk brakes should be replaced. If a disk brake is not replaced within a reasonable time frame, this creates problems with your rotors and can lead to the inability to brake altogether.

Rotors and Drums

Drums function by utilizing pads to place pressure on the inner surface of the rotating wheel cylinder, consequently reducing the speed of the wheel. Failing to properly maintain and replace brakes can result in warped rotors, which decreases both the lifespan of your brake pads and overall safety of your vehicle. Not to mention, your rotors must then also be replaced, which can be costly. That is why regular brake maintenance is not only important in maintaining your safety, but also eliminating the potential for costly repairs.

Rotor Resurfacing

When brake pads become worn, they can create grooves in your rotor that decrease their effectiveness. These grooves may also result in squealing and wobbles. However, if your rotors are not too damaged and have surface area remaining, they can be fixed by shaving the rotor surface down until it is smooth.

Fluid System

The fluid that is forced through the brake lines is essential in maintaining your brakes. As a result, part of your brake maintenance involves ensuring that the fluid system, specifically the fluids and hoses, is properly functioning.

Caliper Replacement

Brake maintenance also involves ensuring that the calipers are operating effectively, as failing calipers can create a dangerous situation.


Hoses are responsible for transferring pressurized fluid to the brakes. So, a faulty hose or line can result in total brake failure. Even a minor flaw in a hose and line, such as damage the size of a pinhole, can cause the entire brake system to fail. That is why during your brake maintenance, our team will thoroughly ensure that all hoses and lines are whole and functioning properly.

Fluid Flush and Replacement

Every so often, a complete fluid flush and replacement are necessary to reduce water build-up, as water can negatively affect the brake fluid and prompt deterioration within the brake lines and components.

Learn More About How Your Car’s Brakes Work

If you have more questions about brake maintenance tips, please visit our vehicle maintenance blog.

Leave a Comment