Apologies if that seems dramatic, but brake failure is a common cause of accident and over our 40 years in business we’ve seen too many needless car repairs, car accidents and injuries which could have been easily avoided by looking after their car brakes.
Brakes are obviously one of the most important systems on any road fairing vehicle. If not maintained properly, they will very likely cause a serious accident. There are two main types of braking systems. Disc brakes and Drum brakes.
This method of braking system uses three main components: the disc, the calliper and the brake pads. Disc brakes systems are used on the front wheels of almost all modern cars and vans. They are also used on the rear wheels for most sporty/luxury vehicles as they offer a more powerful braking system.
Once the brake pads have reached a certain level of wear they should be replaced – manufacturers advise a minimum of around 2-3mm. If the material completely wears away then the braking power will almost immediately be heavily compromised and you will hear a very nasty grinding noise coming from the brakes when the car attempts to slow down. This is known in the motoring trade as brakes that have gone “metal to metal” and are considered to be extremely dangerous & both the brake pads & discs need to be replaced immediately.Brake pads are not the only things that wear out; the brake discs will also need to be replaced every now and again. Normally brake discs are replaced every other brake pad change.
Brake discs can also need replacing for other reasons. If the discs are subjected to a substantial amount of aggressive driving then not only will they wear quickly but they can often overheat. For most drivers knowing when your brakes are worn out can be difficult. Some vehicles are fitted with brake pad monitoring systems but “squealing” is a good indication of brakes that need attention. However, if you don’t know how to regularly check the brakes yourself you should drop the car in to us for a free ‘while you wait’ visual safety check.
This method of braking also uses three main components; brake cylinders, brake shoes and the brake drum itself and 99.9% of cars that have brake drums fitted have them as part of the rear braking system.
Drum style brakes are less powerful than discs but they tend to need less maintenance. However, because they are a sealed mechanism they are a little less visual to check.
Some manufacture service schedules cater for brake drum maintenance as it is routine to remove the drums and clean out brake dust that may have gathered within the sealed unit, which will cause noise as well as lower brake performance.
The brake shoes are the most commonly replaced part of the drum brake system as they are designed to wear much like brake pads do. The cylinders are also known to fail due to the seals leaking; this causes the brake fluid to leak out when the brakes are activated.