You know that when you push down on the brake pedal, your car slows down or stops, but do you know how that happens?
Most modern vehicles have break systems composed of hydraulics and friction materials.
When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, you start a chain reaction in the master cylinder that creates hydraulic pressure which pushes brake fluid through the brake lines.
What happens next depends on the kind of brakes you have on your vehicle.
If you have disc brakes, the fluid pressure causes the caliper to clamp down on the like a vise, forcing brake pads against the rotor and creating the friction that causes your tires to rotate slower or stop altogether.
If you have drum brakes, the fluid pressure causes the wheel cylinder to push the brake shoes against the brake drum, creating the friction that causes your vehicle to slow down or stop.
Most vehicles have disc brakes on the front tires and either disc or drum brakes on the rear tires.
How can I tell if my brakes need repair?
As the pads or shoes work hard to slow your vehicle, they create a lot of heat, which causes them to wear out over time. If they’re starting to wear, you may have to push harder to get the brakes to slow your vehicle. You may also notice a squeal, squeak, woup-woop noise.
Other signs of brake trouble include:
- Wobbly steering when braking
- Pulling to one side when braking
- Squishy or soft braking
If you notice any of these signs, stop by a Chicago-area Tuffy location for an inspection or make an appointment online today.
What would you do if your brakes fail?
If you don’t notice that your vehicle needs brake repair or you put off essential brake repairs, you could find yourself in a no-stop situation.
If your brakes fail, don’t panic. Then:
- leave your foot off the accelerator
- turn on your hazard lights
- move into the right lane
- gradually shift into a lower gear or into neutral
- slowly apply the emergency brake
When you get your vehicle stopped, pop the hood and tie a t-shirt or something to the antennae or set off emergency flares 100 feet in front of and behind your vehicle.
Whatever you do, DO NOT attempt to drive your vehicle after your brakes have failed. Call for help if you can, or wait for someone to stop. Many Chicago-area Tuffy locations offer towing service in and around Chicago and all of our shops offer brake repair service.