BRAKES & BRAKE REPAIR
We want our customers to have the opportunity to feel comfortable in their vehicle. You can leave the repairs and services to our professionals, but please don't hesitate to ask us questions about why a service is needed or how it occurred. We will be happy to speak with you. Here is some valuable information on brake issues and corrective services:
Brake Fluid Flush
Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid. Talk to our technicians about when it's time for a brake fluid flush.
Brake Pad & Shoe Replacement
Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you'll hear a grinding metal-on-metal sound when braking, meaning that it's too late and you're ruining your rotors or drums! Those with knowledge of auto repair may be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.
In a disc brake system, rotors are attached to your vehicle's wheels. When the brake pads grip the rotor, they bring both the rotor and wheels to a stop. However, the friction causes grooves and cracks to appear over time. Resurfacing brings the rotor back to a "like-new" condition, reducing squealing and wobbling. We will give your rotors a thorough inspection and recommend your best course of action.
The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliber problem could cause uneven braking, making your car slide forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions, so contact us as soon as possible.
A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don't need to be replaced often, but should be replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.
Wheel bearings are found inside of wheels, allowing the wheels to spin freely, and are connected to the brake system. They can become worn over time, causing a vibrating suspension and noisy rubbing as the car is driven. If they break completely, the vehicle will become very difficult to control and unsafe to drive. Replacement interval for wheel bearings varies greatly, but they should be checked for leaks and wear periodically. We can make sure that your bearings are in good shape and let you know if they need replacement.
Anti-Lock Brake System
Anti-lock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don't stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit us and we will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.
The Parking Brake uses Cables to mechanically apply the brakes (usually the rear brake.) This is used to prevent the car from rolling when not being driven.
Your vehicle's brake system is a culmination of over 100 years of technological innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms into dependable and efficient equipment. While brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in back. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes link to each wheel and to the master cylinder, which supply them with vital brake fluid (hydraulic fluid).
We can summarize all of your braking equipment into two categories, Hydraulics and Friction Material:
The master cylinder is like a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure, and brake fluid moves into the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses:
Brake lines hoses deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers:
Wheel Cylinders surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons connect the piston with the brake shoe. Push the brakes and the pistons stop and the shoes pushes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes:
A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.
How It Comes Together:
When you first step on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. You actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder, releasing fluid. Brake fluid can't be compressed. It moves through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact same motion and pressure that initiated it. When it comes to stopping a heavy steel machine at high speed, this consistency is a good thing. The performance of your brakes can be affected when air gets into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. "Bleeder screws" (located at each wheel cylinder) remove unwanted air in your system.
A car without functioning brakes is dangerous. In many cases, warning signs will tell you if your car's brakes may need service.
Warning signs include:
Squealing or grinding noises when using brakes. This could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or that your brake pads are worn and need replacement.
Your dashboard's Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light turns on. This indicates that your brake fluid is low. You may have a leak in your brake line. Get it inspected.
While braking, your car pulls to one side. This means that your brakes need adjustment, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need replacement.
Your brakes are hard to press down or feel "spongy." Usually this means air has gotten into your brake lines or you may have low brake fluid.
When applying your brakes, your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire vehicle begins to shake. If this happens, your brake rotors could be warped and need replacement.
When you notice any brake warning signs, contact our professional staff by phone, or email, immediately and we'll take care of it.
OF BRAKE SERVICE & REPAIR
Bad brakes display warning signs for impending brake maintenance. For example, if your brakes squeal or grind when in use, then your brake pads may be worn and require replacements. If your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, then this may point to worn brakes, a malfunctioning caliper, or low brake fluid in the brake lines. If your brake pedal presses down too easily—also known as “spongy” brakes—then this may be an indication of too much air in the hydraulic brake lines. Sometimes, your vehicle’s electronic diagnostic system will alert you to a potential brake issue by a service indicator light (see below) on the dashboard. While these are only some of the most common signs of potential problems with your vehicle’s brake system, noticing these signs of faulty brakes and seeking out a brake service can save you money down the line. Our staff is trained in maintaining and servicing front and rear brake systems and all accompanying brake system components like brake pads, brake shoes, parking brakes, rotors, drums, and hydraulic systems. If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms of bad brakes, like unusual squealing or grinding noises, then contact us online or call us today to have your brakes inspected immediately. Contact Westgate High Tech Auto Care for Brake Service today.
- Dashboard Warning Light
The Brake Service Light can be activated for a number of reasons. The simplest cause is that the parking brake is engaged. If the brake service light is still illuminated after the parking brake has been fully disengaged, there could be a more serious issue. Lack of hydraulic pressure or a low fluid level due to leaking will both generate your Brake Light – and both issues indicate an immediate need for brake service. Brake fluid leaks are particularly dangerous as they can cause your brakes to fail and contaminate different components of your brake system. Make sure your brakes are still stopping your vehicle if you are attempting to drive. If there is no brake pressure at all, it is safest to stop driving and call for a tow. Contact Westgate High Tech Auto Care for Brake Service today.
Anti-Lock Brake System Light
The Anti-Lock Brake System Light, also known as the ABS Light, indicates that there is a malfunction in your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system. The malfunction is logged by your vehicle’s onboard computer system and the applicable OBD2 codes are readable only with diagnostic tools. Issues triggering your Anti-Lock Brake System Light can range in nature from a dirty wheel sensor to loss of voltage. When the ABS light triggers, your anti-lock brake system disengages and does not turn back on until your vehicle is serviced. Even if the ABS light is on, you should have normal brake pedal and stopping capabilities. Contact Westgate High Tech Auto Care for Brake Service today.
Brakes that work properly are essential to your safety as you drive and stop on our Northeast Ohio streets. You want to carefully maintain your brakes. In vehicles equipped with drum brakes, the brake components are housed inside a drum that rotates with the wheel. When you step on the brake pedal, brake shoes push out against the inside of the drum, slowing the wheel.
Now brake shoes just wear away with use from rubbing on the drum as you brake. When it’s time to replace brake shoes, it’s a straight-forward repair.
If you hear squealing or grinding when braking, have your Strongsville Express Tire & Automotive of Northeast Ohio service advisor check them out. He’ll have a technician perform a thorough brake inspection to see what needs to be done. He’ll check for signs of brake problems and go over other brake components to see that they’re working properly.
He can tell you if it’s time to replace the brake shoes or if there are other issues with your brakes that should be addressed. Some people in our Omaha Nebraska suburban community ignore the warning signs and keep driving long after the shoes are completely worn out. When that happens, metal brake components will grind against the drum, damaging it enough that it has to be resurfaced or replaced.
When you push on your brake pedal, the wheel cylinder is activated and it pushes the shoes against the drum to slow the vehicle. This cylinder, and various springs within the brake, can wear out affecting your ability to stop. The worn components can be easily replaced.
The new brake shoes we put on your sedan or other vehicle will restore your brakes to manufacturers’ specifications. Or, we can install upgraded parts to increase your stopping power and reduce brake noise and brake dust. We have several options to meet your braking requirements and your budget.
Taking care of your brakes keeps them working safely – and you could prevent premature brake repairs down the road.
Why you should Flush your Brake Fluid
Your brake fluid requires regular service because it becomes contaminated by moisture.
How does moisture get into your brake fluid? Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it attracts and absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, usually through the brake master cylinder reservoir and permeable brake hoses.
Moisture contamination lowers the boiling point of your brake fluid, so even under ordinary driving conditions, moisture could cause the fluid to boil and release vapor into your brake system. When this vapor compresses inside the system, you may find yourself facing a most dreaded driving crisis- a dangerously low brake peddle or no brake peddle at all!
Moisture contamination can also result in very costly repairs, into the thousands, if you have ABS type brakes. When moisture contaminated brake fluid reaches very high temperatures, as much as 450-500 degrees, an electrochemical reaction makes the fluid highly acidic. The acid breaks down the steel lines and rubber hoses and can cause early failure of the cast iron and aluminum components in the brake system module.
Brake fluid contamination has become so much of a concern, car manufacturers have added brake fluid service to their required maintenance schedules.
Let our ASE certified technicians at Westgate High Tech Auto Care in Omaha Nebraska perform this important safety service for you today.