Your car's brakes are one of its most important features for safety and control. They need regular tuneups and pad replacement to keep them operating correctly. Here's an overview of this system to help you decide when it's time to go in for an auto repair.
Braking System FAQ
How do they work?
This system is hydraulic, meaning that it relies on fluid moving through a system of tubes to translate the signal from the pedal into force on the calipers. When you press down on the pedal, the calipers squeeze the brake pad against your wheel rotors. This creates friction that forces the car to slow.
What types are there?
Your car's braking system either uses disc brakes, which squeeze the wheel rotor from both sides, or drum brakes, which press against it from one side. The disc type is more common because its more heat resistant, but drum options are less expensive. Your car also has an emergency or parking brake. This is a completely different system from your main brakes and is usually a cable-operated system rather than a hydraulic one.
How often should I inspect the pads?
Your brake pads endure a lot of heat and friction as they press against the rotors. Over time, the pads wear down. They're designed to make a screeching noise when they're close to being worn out, so when you hear that, schedule a visit to the mechanic immediately. Otherwise, expect to need a change about every 50,000 miles, and check the pads every six months or so.
How can I tell if there's a problem?
Noisy braking is one of the most obvious signs. You might also notice vibration coming through the pedal underfoot. The pedal might start to feel spongy or unresponsive if there's an issue with the brake fluid.
If you're overdue for brake service, visit Kalispell Alignment & Auto Repair. Serving Flathead County, MT, for over 25 years, they use state-of-the-art electronic diagnostics to locate any issues with your car to keep it in top condition. They're also a NAPA Auto Care Center with a 24-month, 24,000-mile warranty. To schedule a visit, call (406) 755-0234 or reach out online.