The brakes are obviously how we stop or slow down a vehicle but many drivers don’t realize the various components of the braking system that work together to keep us safe. It's more than just pushing the pedal.
The components of the brakes are pads, rotors, shoes, drums, master cylinder, wheel cylinders, brake hoses, brake lines, brake fluid, brake calipers – phew! That’s a lot of moving parts. When you get a brake inspection, these are the components should be inspected! If the ABS light is on, that is an indication that something is awry; you should schedule diagnostics to be performed. Most newer vehicles have Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS System) but many drivers don’t understand its function. The ABS System enhances the brakes by preventing preventing the wheels from locking up while you try to steer normally. It prevents and the car from sliding to the side (losing traction) when on icy roads. It has it’s own computer/module and is pretty complex!
There are a range of price points for the various brake system components. If you have a consistent, trusted relationship with your repair shop, your Service Advisor will give good guidance on which are best for your vehicle. If you are having to change your brake pads more frequently than expected, these are some other elements your Service Advisor may want to consider:
- Where do you drive?
- HOW you drive (are you a speedy driver who frequently slams on the brakes?)
- Do you often carry a heavy load?
- Does the suspension or hydraulic system need attention (these are factors that can wear out the brake pads faster)?
Bottom line: well-working brakes are essential. Planning for and scheduling routine maintenance appointments and tune ups with a trusted shop will help you avoid braking issues. If you feel shaking, hear squeaks or grinding, get your breaks inspected asap.