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Safety - Brakes - Disc Brakes - Car Braking System

Car brakes require regular chacks and maintenance for safety reasons.

As the brake is such a fundamental safety item any brake repair should be made as quickly as possible once tell tales signs have been noticed.

Brakes convert kinetic energy into heat, via friction on the pads and therefore they will wear out over time and brake servicing is essential.

Virtually every modern car is equipped with disc brakes on its front hubs and the less efficient hub brakes on the rear wheels. More commonly many more cars are being manufactured with disc brakes on the rear hubs as well thereby improving stopping over shorter distances.

When car or van brake pads require replacing they must be changed in axle pairs and never on just one side. Uneven braking with diversely worn pads on the same axle will cause uneven braking and the car veering from one side or the other.

Squeaking Brakes

Corrosion can form on the brake discs outer and inner edges and this can rub against the calliper causing squeaky brakes. This flaky rust can be chipped away with care from the disc’s edges and usually improves the noise from the squeaking. Brake pads vibrating in their callipers can also cause squeaky brakes and cleaning both the pads and callipers is an operation easily carried out by our garage. A light coating of certex grease to the pad backing and its anti-rattle shims is also recommended to resolve the problem in the long term.

It is important to differentiate the squeaking noise the more severe grinding noise which will result from pads being completely worn away.

Servicing Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are fitted to the rear of many cars, although more and more modern cars use disc brakes both front and rear. Many cars are fitted with rear drum brakes, which are not only operated by the footbrake but also the handbrake or parking brake. This type of brake uses pads, a pair of shoe linings is pressed outwards, against the inside of a cast iron drum, by a wheel cylinder. The linings are then returned to their original position by strong springs.

Drum brakes can fill with dust, which can result in either squealing brakes or the linings sticking to the drum intermittently. Removing the lining dust is therefore a worthwhile brake repair. The wheel cylinder can also leak brake fluid, which contaminates the linings and could result in either partial or total failure of the braking system. A small amount of oil will be seen where you have parked your car and this is a good sign that the brakes need checking and serviced.

Other Brake Concerns

As the footbrake is operated hydraulically every metal and rubber pipe should be inspected for rust, splits and leaks, during the brake service.
Rubber brake lines deteriorate with age and metal brake lines often corrode and both can cause either partial or entire brake failure if not repaired.

Air contaminating the hydraulic system is also a problem area and the result is that the brake pedal movement will increase and the brakes will become less effective. Air can be bled from the system via the bleed nipples and the problem corrected during a routine car service.

Institute of Road Transport Engineers


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