Out of the many vehicle components that require attention over time, one of the most critical is your car’s braking system. Halting your car should be an easy task, with a quick response from your brakes to ensure you stop as needed. However, over time the different parts of your braking system from the pads to the brake lines develop issues due to driving in harsh elements or natural wear. Obviously, if your brake warning light illuminates from your dashboard, you have an indication that it’s time to go in for a brake check. But are you overdue for a brake pad replacement or merely a timely brake flush? Understanding your braking system can help identify exactly what the common brake problems are.
Brake Line Issues
Through natural exposure to the weather changes, your brake lines may develop rust from moisture or road salt, causing the potential for a leak, or even worse, a break. Collapsed or bent brake lines may also occur from past car accidents, furthering the risk of a break down the road. Aside from rust, air trapped in the brake lines remains among the top issues that result in mushy pedals. Because your braking system relies on pressure from hydraulics to stop your vehicle, if any pockets of air create themselves in your brake lines, it can throw the pressure into unbalance. Whether it is air trapped in the lines of your braking system or actual damage to the brake line itself, these issues require an immediate brake check.
If your brakes have been extra soft, taking extra distance to stop the car, the problem could be related to your brake fluid. An essential part of your braking system, this fluid aids the pushing of the brake pad toward the brake disc. Because this fluid absorbs moisture from the air, often times it becomes weakened over time and eventually unable to protect the components of your system. That’s when it’s time for a brake flush. Providing your vehicle with a brake flush every 2-3 years assures that your fluid is fresh and in abundance. Leakage of brake fluid is another issue that can be remedied with a simple brake check.
Pads and Calipers
The most typical visual of the brakes are the brake pads, which close in on both sides of your disc to slow your vehicle down. Disc damage is a serious issue, but needing a brake pad replacement is a much more common one. As brake pads wear down, so does your ability to stop. Whether you need a brake pad replacement or not depends on the results of a full inspection. Spotting an issue with your brake calipers is a relatively easy one. If your vehicle tends to pull to one side during your stops, or if your brakes emit a loud squeaky noise, there may be an issue with your calipers due to excessive heat.
As you can see, there are more than a few reasons your pedal may not be triggering the correct response from your brakes. With a bit of care and knowledge, fixing brake system issues can be completed in less than a few hours.