Stop Taking Chances With Your Safety
When it comes to safety, there’s nothing more important than your vehicle’s brakes. And whether it’s a high-pitched squeal, a pulling to one side or another, a grinding metal sound, a brake pedal that just won’t stop or a vibrating steering wheel, you know when you have a brake problem. Why take a chance? Play it safe with some simple maintenance tips that will also save you money down the road.
Before you can isolate the problem, it helps to know how the braking system works. Vehicles have brakes on all four wheels that are operated by a hydraulic system. These brakes can be disc type or drum type, but generally most cars have disc brakes on the front and drum brakes at the rear. Starting with the master cylinder within the engine compartment, when you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure is transferred to each axle and then on to each side, through steel brake line plumbing carrying brake fluid.
Disc brakes use a disk called a rotor, vertically positioned with a caliper on both the outside and the inside edge. Brake pads are positioned inside the caliper and on each side of the rotor – so when the brake is applied, the brake pads squeeze against the outer and inner surface of the rotor, which slows down the car. Drum brakes are different in that they utilize a wheel cylinder that sits sideways between two brake shoes. Utilizing a wheel cylinder, when the brake is applied, small bores on either side of the cylinder make contact with the brake shoes, which then push outward and contact the inside surface of the steel drum.
What can go wrong and what are the symptoms? Here are some common issues and tips that could arise when applying pressure to the brake pedal:
- Bouncing up and down: inspect and replace shock absorbers as needed
- Continuing to travel after applying brake: adjust brakes and inspect/replace brake linings
- Shaking steering wheel: front disc brakes need machined or replaced
- Squealing: brake linings need replaced and/or brake drums/discs needs to be machined
- Pulling to one side: a stuck caliper may be the culprit or leaking brake fluid
- Grinding: STOP! This is the worst sound you can hear and you will do further and much more expensive damage to your entire braking system, including brake discs or drums
Routine maintenance of your braking system should include a thorough inspection of the following once a year:
- Brake fluid levels
- Rotor thickness
- Brake lining wear
- Brake lines
Visit your local O’Reilly Auto Parts today and let our professional team help you identify the exact brake part you need for your vehicle. You’ll find brake fluid and pads, shoes, rotors, calipers, drums, hundreds of premium brake products, all in stock and all at our guaranteed low prices. Some simple maintenance on your brake system today can save you from costly repairs down the road or even a dangerous accident. Play it safe and stop by O’Reilly Auto Parts today. O’Reilly Auto Parts. Better Parts…Better Prices, Everyday!