When it comes to a car’s safety features, the brakes are one of the most important. If you’re driving and you see a red light, or another car suddenly cuts in front of you, it’s your brakes that stop you from hitting them. If the brakes on your car fail while you’re driving, you could end up in a crash — or worse.
And unfortunately, car brake failure is more common than you might think. Statistics show that about 50% of all car accidents involving serious injuries involve a problem with the car’s braking system.
Fortunately, because there are so many different types of brakes used in cars, repairing them doesn’t have to be an expensive proposition. Read on for some helpful information about how these safety features work and how to fix the brakes on a car when they malfunction.
How Do Car Brakes Work?
When you step on a car’s brake pedal, it activates a series of mechanisms that slow or stop the rotation of the wheels.
Depending on the type of brakes used on your car, you’ll either be using disc brakes, drum brakes, or a combination of the two. Disc brakes are more common on newer vehicles, while drum brakes are more common on older cars.
In disc brakes, brake pads squeeze the rotating discs in the middle of the car’s wheels to stop the wheels from rotating and slow both the car and the wheels themselves. Meanwhile, drum brakes press the rotating discs together to stop the rotation of the wheels.
As you may expect, the type of braking system on your car will determine how to repair the car brakes. Let’s take a more detailed look below:
How Do Disc Brakes Work?
As mentioned above, disc brakes work by pressing the rotating discs together to stop their rotation and the wheels from spinning.
If your car’s disc brakes are malfunctioning, you might notice the car’s brake pedal is harder to push, or you might hear a squealing sound. You might also notice that your car’s stopping distance is longer than usual. These are all signs that you need to repair car brakes.
So, if your car’s disc brakes are malfunctioning, you might need to replace the disc pads, replace the disc rotors, or replace the entire disc brake assembly.
How Do Drum Brakes Work?
Drum brakes are a bit different than disc brakes. With drum brakes, the brakes are pressed against the rotating discs inside the car’s wheels.
If you notice your car’s brake pedal is harder to press, your car’s stopping distance is longer than usual, or you hear a squealing sound while braking, your drum brakes might be malfunctioning.
Drum brake repairs can be as simple as replacing the drum brake pads. However, you might also have to have your drum brakes re-aligned if they’ve become misaligned.
How Do Brake Pads Work?
If you notice your car’s brakes are malfunctioning, it’s possible that either the front or rear brake pads need to be replaced.
The process for replacing the brake pad depends on the type of brakes on your car. In a disc brake system, old brake pads are generally very easy to replace. In a drum brake system, however, you might have to take the entire wheel off to do a brake pad replacement.
Note that when you’re getting new brake pads on your car, you should also pay attention to the brake rotors. Rotors can become dangerously thin, especially if you drive in stop-and-go traffic often and you might have to have them turned or replaced.
When Should You Have Your Car’s Brakes Repaired or Replaced?
If you have a car with drum brakes, you should have your brakes inspected every single time you get your oil changed. If you have disc brakes, you should have them inspected once a year.
During these inspections, you’ll be able to tell if your car’s brakes are ready for repair or replacement. If your brake pads are less than 1/4 inch thick, you should have them replaced. If your rotors are dangerously thin, you might have to have them turned or replaced.
If your brake fluid is dark or smells burnt, you should have your brakes inspected as soon as possible. The brake fluid should be clean and smell like fresh brake fluid, not burnt rubber.
How to Repair Car Brakes?
If you notice that your car’s brakes are malfunctioning, you should have them inspected at a local brake repair shop as soon as possible. However, there are a few simple repairs you can do while you’re waiting for an appointment.
First, check your brake fluid to make sure it isn’t burnt or discolored. If it is, have your mechanic replace the brake fluid. Next, check your brake pads to make sure they aren’t too thin. If they are, have them replaced.
Finally, check your rotors to make sure they aren’t dangerously thin. If they are, have them turned or replaced. If you notice any of these issues, you may be able to repair your brakes yourself. Alternatively, you can call a mechanic and schedule an appointment.
The Bottom Line: Choose Lake Erie Automotive for Your Auto Brake Repair Service Needs
Car brakes are a crucial part of your vehicle’s safety features. If your car’s braking system malfunctions, you could end up in a serious accident. When your car’s brakes start to malfunction, you should have them inspected as soon as possible at Lake Erie Automotive.
We have a team of professionally trained and experienced technicians who can do a great job on your car. We are in love with cars and take great pride in making sure we help people get back on the road safely.
We have worked on different cars so rest assured that no matter your make or model of vehicle, you will receive the best service possible.
Give us a call today at (440) 597-3444 so we can get you in touch with one of our technicians.