The brake system is one of the most important systems on your vehicle – and the pads wear out often enough that you need to keep an eye on them. Our ASE Certified mechanics will check the brakes when you come in for other work, but you should also listen for the signs of failing brakes. If you let the pads wear down too much, you could cost yourself extra money.
If you hear your brakes squeaking or notice other abnormalities, contact Mevert Automotive & Tire Center for an appointment to inspect your brakes as soon as possible.
All modern vehicles will have ABS brakes, at least on the front. The ABS uses a computer to help with braking. Specifically, if you have to slam the brakes on, one or more wheels could lock up and cause you to lose control. With ABS, the computer senses when a wheel locks up. It releases pressure on that wheel to allow it to spin again, then slowly applies the brake. This allows you to maintain control of the vehicle during a panic stop situation.
The rest of the braking system consists of pads, calipers, rotors, brake lines and the master cylinder. If you have an older vehicle, you might have drums, wheel cylinders and shoes on the rear. And, if you have an antique, you might have drums, wheel cylinders and shoes all the way around – and no ABS.
When you press the brake pedal, that motion forces brake fluid out of the master cylinder and through the brake lines to the calipers or wheel cylinders. The calipers and wheel cylinders squeeze the pads and shoes against the rotors and drums to stop the vehicle.
The most common brake system repair is replacing the pads. Each pad features a metal tab that rubs against the rotor and squeals if the thickness of the pads goes below that tab. This is what tells you to replace the pads.
However, if you don’t replace the pads as soon as possible, the tab will score the rotor. If a rotor has never been turned, and the pads don’t score it, the auto repair shop can turn (resurface) the rotor – that is, smooth out any grooves on it. We don’t recommend turning the rotors more than once, as they’ll get too thin.
If the tab digs too far into the rotor, we can’t turn it as it would make it too thin – you’ll have to replace the rotor. The other issue you run into if you let the pads get too low is an over-extended caliper. Once that happens, you have to replace it since it will not work properly.
Other repairs include replacing a failed master cylinder and replacing rubber brake lines. Most of the lines are metal and, unless they rust out or you run over something and damage them, should never have to be replaced. However, the rubber brake lines that connect the caliper to the rest of the brake line system can fail. These lines have to be replaced periodically.
If you hear your vehicle’s brakes squeaking or suspect another problem with the brakes, contact Mevert Automotive & Tire Center in Steeleville Il. for brake service and repair.