You may not know it, but your car’s brakes aren’t just one thing. For example, you’ve got the main calipers upfront (or in the rear if you drive a rear-wheel-drive vehicle), but there are also emergency or parking brake calipers that help to keep your car from rolling away when you’re stopped.
Your car’s anti-lock braking system also requires a computer module and sensor rings for each wheel. And of course, you’ve got all sorts of different hydraulic lines and hoses that connect everything together, so if you are looking for the best quality parts for your car, look no further, check out some at gmsspares.com.au.
Car brakes are a mystery to many of us. You may know that they’re important, but that’s about as far as it goes. Car and Driver have put together a list of five things you should know about your brakes, and what to do when something goes wrong.
Your brakes are really small
Your brakes are much smaller than you might think, and this can make a repair bill expensive fast. The most expensive part of the car is the brake caliper — which is only about the size of a shoebox — and costs about $600 each! This is why it’s recommended that all four be replaced at once to keep costs down.
Your Brakes Have a Hand-Me-Down Problem
You don’t have to replace your brakes every time you get new tires, but you should get them inspected by your mechanic during rotation. That way, if any parts need replacing soon, they won’t be worn out by the time tires come off again next year.
Brake pads don’t last forever
Most cars have front disc brakes and rear drum brakes. The brake pads on front disc brakes wear out after about 50,000 miles — some wear out sooner and some last longer, depending on your driving habits, weather conditions and the type of brake pad you buy. A mechanic can check your brake pad thickness with a special tool to see if they’re worn out. Brake rotors should be checked at every oil change.
Brake fluid is hygroscopic
That means it absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, which degrades its protective qualities, reduces its boiling point, and causes corrosion inside the braking system. Brake fluid should be changed every two years on average — more often in northern climates because road salts corrode the metal parts of your braking system.
They’re not hydraulic
Brakes are hydraulic only on cars that have disc brakes on all four wheels. Most vehicles have disc brakes in front and drum brakes in back. Drum brakes use a mechanical linkage connected to the brake pedal to push the brake shoes outward into contact with the inside of the drum. Some rear disc brake setups use a separate braking system called a parking brake that takes the place of a drum brake, but it works much differently than typical drum brakes.
They’re exposed to extreme heat
The brakes on your car are exposed to extreme heat every time you drive, which is why many cars these days have some sort of brake cooling ducts or vents. The venting helps airflow across discs and drums and cools them down, preventing fade and overheating. The problem is that these vents are often blocked by mud or other debris on off-road vehicles such as SUVs, so be sure to clean yours out after you go off-roading or hit deep puddles on the road.