Working on Your Brakes – a Brief Overview

Keeping your brake system functioning properly should take priority over every other repair that needs to be done to your car.  It is the single most important system to the safe operation of your vehicle.  If you are ever in doubt about your braking system take it in to your local Utah brake repair company or take a look at it yourself.

It is always a good idea to have a repair manual to look at as you service your vehicle.  There are several companies that make repair manuals that you can purchase.  You can purchase a manual from the vehicle manufacturer, Mitchell on Demand, AllData, Chilton, or you can find free information from enthusiasts on web forums.

Your brake system works based on a lever system.  If you need to move something really heavy such as a big rock, the longer the lever the easier it is to move the object.  The brake system uses this concept to apply a tremendous amount of force to stop the wheels form turning.

The brake pedal is a lever and is attached to the master cylinder.  You also get further braking power through the brake boost (which is why the brakes are hard to press if the engine is off). Hydraulics from the master cylinder further amplify the force to the wheels resulting in the power needed to stop the wheels from turning.

On the other end of the brake pedal is a pushrod, which is attached to the master cylinder.  In the master cylinder there is a piston which pushes the fluid through the brake lines to the brake components.  On top of the master cylinder is the fluid reservoir.

Most new cars have disk brakes on the front and the rear.  Most older cars have disk brakes on the front of the vehicle with drum brakes on the rear, although many inexpensive models still use disk brakes on the front and drums on the rear.  From the servicing standpoint if you are going to work on your own brakes (or if you take them to a Utah brake repair company), disk brakes are much easier to service.

Brakes pads are made out of different materials, but their purpose is the same.  They are used in applying a great deal of pressure and must be able to take a lot of heat, have good friction, and last a long time.  Brakes transfer mechanical energy (the wheels turning) into heat energy through friction.

Brake pads squeeze the rotor, which is attached to the wheel.  The rotors are usually made out of cast iron and designed so that they can handle a lot of heat, get rid of it, and not warp easily.  You can work on these systems yourself or take them to your Utah brake repair expert to get the job done.

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14 Apr, 2010

Brakes

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