The Basics About Car Brakes

If you know the basics about car brakes, you can be confident no matter what Colorado’s road and weather conditions throw your way. You’ll be prepared for steep mountain driving and stop-and-go city driving. You’ll be ready for weather extremes, especially since we can get sun, rain, hail and even snow and ice in a matter of just days. For added assurance, you can always bring your vehicle to Mountain View Automotive in Thornton. We’ll inspect your brakes, replace them if necessary, and get you safely back on the road.

Of course, your brakes are going to wear out over time. In fact, your vehicle’s brake pads start to wear the moment you use the brakes. That’s why it’s important to have regular inspections, particularly if you hear and see the warning signs. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s start with the basics about brake care.

How Brakes Work

The wheel hub keeps your wheel on the vehicle. Inside this hub, the brake disc (rotor) turns with the wheel as you drive the vehicle. Straddling the disc is the brake caliper which holds the pistons that apply pressure to your brake pads. When you step on the brake pedal, your caliper pistons push on the pads, clamping them down on the brake disc. When you take your foot off the brake, the pistons retract, removing the pads from the disc.

Brake fluid is crucial to allowing your brakes to operate properly. When pressure is generated in the brake fluid lines, energy is distributed to your car’s brake parts so they can do their job. If the brake fluid is leaking, you’ll notice that your vehicle will take longer to stop and if you completely run out of this fluid, your brakes will not work at all.

Time for New Brakes

The brake pads will eventually wear out and you will need to replace them. If you don’t, the metal parts of the brakes will grind against the rotor and carve grooves in the surface. Sometimes if that happens we can smooth it out on a lathe. But if the grooves are scratched in too deep or if the rotor gets warped or cracked, you will need to have them replaced.

Our technicians at Mountain View will examine the mechanical sliding and mounting portions of the disc brake system. If the brake pistons stick, you might have to replace them. Sometimes it’s just cheaper to replace the entire caliper than to rebuild the piston.

Check Your Brakes

You should have your brakes checked regularly so your vehicle and your passengers stay safe. Bring your car down to Mountain View Automotive and our brake experts can diagnose any problems and repair them. It’s better for your vehicle if you get the brake pads replaced on time, not only for your safety but if you have them repaired now it could save you money because no more damage will occur.

A regular brake check is on every car’s maintenance schedule. If you need brake repair and disc brake maintenance, our ASE-certified technicians at Mountain View can diagnose and repair brake problems for all your foreign and domestic cars, trucks, and SUVs.

In fact, the Automotive Maintenance and Repair Association (AMRA) suggests testing brake fluid for contamination and replacing it when the copper content exceeds 200 ppm. Copper contamination will lead to iron contamination and corrosion, and that will interfere with the brake system’s performance. But how do you know if your brakes need repair?

Warning Signs

Your car will give plenty of warning that you are having problems with your brakes. When these happen, bring your car in so we can check it out. Don’t put it off.

Here are warning signs that your car may need brake repair:

  • If you can hear a squealing or grinding when you apply the brakes.
  • The brake pedal feels spongy or is slow to respond.
  • It takes longer to stop.
  • The dashboard brake light is red, meaning there is a system imbalance.
  • If the dashboard brake light is orange, it means there is a problem with your anti-lock brakes (ABS). Your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system modulates the braking action during a quick stop. This allows the wheels to not lock up and maintains the vehicle’s control and stability. If your ABS warning light goes on, you should bring it in as soon as possible, so we can check it.

Brake Repair and Maintenance

At Mountain View Automotive, we know a lot more than the basics about car brakes. Our team of experts can replace brake pads and rotors, brake shoes, brake hoses and lines, and brake fluid. We offer emergency brake service, master and slave cylinder service, ABS brake system diagnostics and repair, and brake fluid flush.

Our experienced ASE-certified technicians can help you with any brake problem, including:

  • Master Cylinders, Wheel Cylinders, and Calipers: The caliper applies pressure and activates brake pads so the pads create contact with the rotors. The caliper requires brake fluid in order to function properly.
  • Rotor and Drum Machining and Replacement: The rotor is directly connected to each tire. To stop your car, the rotor must stop spinning. It stops spinning by friction created by the brake pad.
  • Brake Hoses and Steel Line Repair/Replacement: When you press down on your brake pedal, brake fluid travels through the brake hose to each caliper, which puts the brake pads into action.
  • Brake Fluid Testing and Flushing: Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in brake applications for automobiles and light trucks. It is used to transfer force under pressure from where it is created through hydraulic lines to the braking mechanism near the wheels. Braking applications produce a lot of heat, so brake fluid must have a high boiling point and also remain effective in freezing temperatures.
  • Brake System Bleeding
  • Brake Pads and Shoe Replacement: Brake pads are the parts that contact your rotors and cause friction in order to stop your car.
  • Wheel Bearings and Grease Seals
  • Brake Boosters and Hydro Boost Repair

Once you understand the basics about car brakes and that they are vital components of your vehicle’s safety and handling system, you can take care of them properly and drive safely. To get them inspected and repaired, Mountain View Automotive in Thornton is here to help. Our technicians are ASE-certified and will make sure your brakes are ready to perform in all types of weather and environments.

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