Your brakes are perhaps the most crucial safety system in your vehicle. After all, if you can’t stop, a collision is unavoidable. That’s why, at Gearhead Automotive Services, we take the service, repair, or replacement of your braking system seriously! Wondering if your brakes need repair? Here are four tell-tale signs of a potentially serious brake issue:
SPONGY BRAKE PEDAL
When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, it should feel firm and responsive. Should the pedal travel straight to the floor, that’s a big problem. Pumping the brakes may regain some of the hydraulic pressure, but if not, slow down and apply the emergency brake to stop the vehicle. A spongy brake pedal could result from low brake fluid, perhaps resulting from a leak in the system. It could also foreshadow the failure of the master brake cylinder.
LEAKING BRAKE FLUID
Brake fluid can be light in colour or dark, depending on the age. Older fluid is dark in colour and, if leaking, will generally be found around the area of the wheels. Brake fluid has a distinctive “greasy” feel and pungent odour. Leaks typically occur due to cracked brake lines or a failure of the master brake cylinder. The fluid moving through the lines and system compresses the calipers and stops the vehicle. The caliper is a mechanism that applies pressure to the brake pads. The pads contact the rotor – a large disc near the wheel – stopping forward or backward motion. Without brake fluid, you’re not stopping.
Stop, what’s that sound? If your brakes are grinding, squealing, rattling or making a “thud” sound, bring your vehicle straight to your local vehicle repair facility. These unnerving sounds should alert you of a major mechanical failure. Along with the noise, you may also experience your vehicle taking longer to stop, pulling to one side when braking, and the brake pedal being hard to push or too easy. You may also smell something burning. The braking system in your vehicle is a complex multi-level system, and a failure could prove fatal. Contact your local automotive service repair shop immediately if you note any braking issues.
ABS OR BRAKE DASHBOARD LIGHT
No doubt, there are many lights on your vehicle’s dash, but the last light you want to see is your ABS or brake light – especially if your brakes have failed. The lights are there for a reason – to let you know that the computer has detected an issue with your braking system. Even if your brakes are working, but the light is on, go immediately to your local automotive repair facility. Have your brakes inspected regularly to ensure they’re in good working order.
A check on brake fluid level and condition is a part of the regular maintenance service at Gearhead Automotive. The team will check your brake fluid’s level and visual condition and test for moisture and copper content.
Here are a couple of notable differences between Gearhead Automotive Services and your average repair shop or quick lube:
WE CHECK FOR MOISTURE CONTENT:
Brake fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs moisture. As a result, the fluid’s boiling point is lowered, which can cause brake fade.
WE CHECK FOR COPPER CONTENT:
Brake fluid is formulated with corrosion inhibitors, but those break down over time, and corrosion begins to occur. Once the inhibitors are depleted, corrosion occurs at an ever-increasing pace. As a result, the brake fluid becomes contaminated with particulates, including copper (from steel lines), iron and zinc. These particulates in the fluid can damage critical brake system components, including calipers, wheel cylinders and brake lines.
The BST3001 Brake Fluid Test is a 60-second test of the copper content of brake fluid. A test strip is inserted into the fluid, and the strip changes colour in less than a minute based on the level of copper. Holding the coloured strip against the included reference chart provides easy-to-see visual evidence of the copper content of the brake fluid. It indicates whether the system is OK or needs to be serviced.
Whatever the year, make or model, all brake service at Gearhead Automotive Services is performed by Red Seal Journeyman Technicians using the latest high-tech diagnostic equipment. This team wants to get to know your vehicle and build a long and mutually rewarding relationship with you! Brake repairs at Gearhead Automotive Services won’t “break” the bank. Remember, we’re here for you when you can’t stop what you’re doing!
We’re Gearhead Automotive Services – your one-stop Red Deer Mechanic. Find us at 7597 Edgar Industrial Drive. Call us at 403-358-5801 or email firstname.lastname@example.org