Finding yourself in a dangerous situation where the brakes aren't working is not something you want to happen. We aren't in a film, jumping from a moving car, or skidding around obstacles, until the vehicle loses power and we get out as if nothing had happened. Joking aside, we have to be clear that brakes are an essential factor in our safety at the wheel.
The brake system consists of the brake pads, disks, brake fluid in the circuit and the brake pipes. Its condition is largely dependent on how we drive: it will wear out faster if we brake suddenly, than if we drive in a smooth, relaxed way.
COMMON BRAKE PROBLEMS INCLUDE:
- Grinding, Squeaking or squealing brakes,
- Brake pedal feels spongy,
- Shaking steering wheel
- Car wobbling or pulsating when you drive at high speeds
DRIVE WITH CONFIDENCE, KNOWING THAT YOUR BRAKES ARE READY TO DO THEIR JOB
WHEN SHOULD I CHECK THE BRAKE PADS AND BRAKES
If you notice unusual behaviour: the steering wheel is vibrating when you step on the brake, or the brake pedal is harder or softer to press than usual, go to your First Stop workshop. Also if the brakes fail to respond at once, or need a longer braking distance to stop the car completely.
If the brakes or ABS warning lights appear on the dashboard, check the vehicle manual to see what these signals mean. If you aren't sure, go to your First Stop workshop.
And in general, once a year, or every 10,000 kilometres, since brake disks, drums, callipers and pads are subject to continual wear and tear. The fluid level should also be checked, and also check for leaks in the circuit.
YOUR CAR'S BRAKES. A JOB FOR THE EXPERTS
- This is a basic factor in vehicle safety
- The components are subject to continual wear and tear
- To ensure efficient braking and you stop when you are required to.
- To ensure you can drive safely.
WHEN SHOULD I REPLACE THE BRAKE FLUID?
Brake fluid should be replaced every time brake pads are changed, whenever brake disks and pads are changed, every 2 years or when the boiling point of the brake fluid is under 165ºC (DOT 4)
CAN I TOP UP THE BRAKE FLUID?
The brake fluid should never be topped up as its properties are reduced if new is mixed with old. Many vehicles also measure wear on the pads or disks by the level of the brake fluid, and if it is topped up, the vehicle will not report this wear.