We all know how important our brakes are. Without properly functioning brakes, accidents are more likely because your car’s response time will be inconsistent, if it stops at all. Brake pads and shoes gradually wear out and are designed to work – until they don’t. These parts are engineered to maintain good braking until they physically can’t because they’ve worn too thin. While this maintains consistency in your braking, it can also become dangerous if they go unchecked for too long. You wouldn’t want to be driving when your brakes suddenly stop working. A brake service at Kennedy Transmission is a preventative maintenance that will keep you safe on the road.
Background Mechanics: The Parts Behind the Left Pedal
As with everything on your vehicle, there is a complex multicomponent system behind your vehicle’s brakes. There are two types of brake systems: disk brakes and drum brakes. By pushing the brake pedal, you are releasing brake fluid to each wheel. On a disk brake, the fluid pushes brake pads against a rotating disk (attached to the wheel) to create enough friction to eventually stop the wheel. For drum brakes, a similar process is followed – but instead of putting pressure on a disk, the fluid is forced inside a drum which is attached to the wheel. This causes the brake pads inside to expand to press against the drum, creating friction from the inside.
As you may guess, this requires extreme synchronicity in the system and parts that are in good working order. These parts are exposed to high amounts of friction and act similarly to sandpaper in that they eventually wear down to the point where they can’t do their job. Check brake pads regularly to ensure optimal performance. Brake fluid is also highly important for this system to run smoothly. Anything other than approved brake fluid can break down the rubber seals in your brake system, causing system-wide failure and an extremely high service fee. In addition, brake fluid is like an IV for your brake system – air bubbles in the fluid could severely reduce braking efficiency.
Pro Tip: Consider your tires when thinking about your brake system. When the tread on your tires has worn down, you may be less likely to stop when you want to, regardless of how well your brakes are working. This is especially important on icy Minnesota roads. Good traction means good braking.
Know Your Warning Signs
It’s pretty clear when your brake warning light (ABS symbol) comes on, you should get it checked. But that’s usually when it’s at the last straw – and a brake service should be preventative maintenance. Luckily, there are early warning signs that are easy to identify. If you notice any of the following, it is time to get your brakes checked:
- Squealing, grinding, or clunking noises when you brake
- Loose brake pedal
- Difficulty pushing the brake pedal
- Vibrations that accompany braking
Put the Brakes on Unsafe Driving With Kennedy Transmission
At Kennedy Transmission Brake & Auto Service, brake systems are our middle name. We can perform maintenance checks and replace any worn parts to keep you safe on the road. Find your nearest Kennedy Transmission service location to stop brake problems in their tracks.