The brakes on a car are made up of several components, all of which need to be in optimum condition to ensure best performance.
The complete braking system is complex, and is not just about slowing the car down. Many braking systems are now linked in with the traction or stability control systems which help to keep the car on the road in slippery or dangerous conditions. Likewise, many new vehicles have electronic handbrakes fitted. These are an expensive and sensitive braking component requiring the correct diagnostic software to be able to service them correctly.
And finally, the most important component is the brake fluid itself. This is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs water. Over time, this degrades the fluid and reduces the boiling point. In the event of prolonged use of the brakes the fluid can boil and turn to gas (steam), this is then easily compressed resulting in brake ‘fade’. To avoid this, brake fluid should be changed every two years regardless of mileage covered.
As part of a major service, the brakes should be stripped and checked for uneven wear, measured against manufacturer specifications to ensure they are above the minimum thickness and then cleaned and refitted.
ABS light on the dashboard, or traction control? This is indicating a fault meaning the car will need a diagnostic read to find the fault. Other faults which do not have a warning light is juddering under braking, squealing noise, scraping (metal on metal noise) to name a few. If you suffer these symptoms, do not leave it, get it checked.
If you have any concerns or queries relating to the braking system or anything else, please contact us. We will explain fully any work required before it is carried out and we always keep old parts for examination. We use manufacturers guidelines to check brakes along with accurate measuring equipment to ensure you get an honest appraisal.
And if you find that your driving style means your brakes need an upgrade… we can help out here too!