Brake Team – Brakes Portland The Northwest's Brake Repair Specialist


Brakes Should Be Number One Car Maintenance Issue

Just in case you haven't noticed, your brakes are the part of your car that stops it from crashing into things. Brakes slow down the speed of a moving car or prevent it from moving when stopped or parked. Any type of braking system works on the principle of friction. When you press the brake pedal, it transfers the energy generated by the force applied by your foot to the tires through the use of friction. With power brakes the force of your foot pushing on the brake pedal is enhanced by the power system making it easier to apply sufficient breaking force.

A typical car braking system can be either the disc brake type or drum brake type. If it's a disc brake system, a disc or rotor made of cast iron or other special metal is installed on the wheel axle. When the brake pedal is depressed, a series tubes filled with brake fluid transfer the braking force to the calipers which then press special brake pads against the disc to stop it from rotating. The pads pressing on the disc causes the disc to slow, and ultimately slow the car itself.

Drum brakes on the other hand consist of a brake drum attached to each wheel. When the brake pedal is pressed special brake shoes are pressed against the inner surface of the drum and the resulting friction causes the wheel to slow down or stop.

Today most cars are fitted with disc brakes because they are more efficient and last longer between adjustments and repair. Often, however, a car's hand brake will use a special drum brake attached to the rear wheels. It has been found that disc brakes do not do a very good job of keeping a stationary car from moving.

No matter what kind of braking system your car is fitted with, if proper care is not taken, it will not only increase your maintenance costs but will also jeopardize your life in case of an emergency. Brake Team provides some simple rules you can follow that will definitely keep you and your family safe, and your stopping ability intact.

Speed is the biggest enemy of your braking system. Your vehicle weighs more than a ton, and to stop it from speeds of 40 or 50 miles per hour requires a tremendous amount of friction. Imagine what the brake pads must be going through each time when you press the brake pedal. Slowing down will also save precious fuel.

Have you ever noticed that the brake lights of some cars are always glowing? In all probability it is because the driver is unconsciously using his left leg to push down the brake pedal. If you have a similar habit, it would be wise to reform and make sure that you are using only your right leg for braking purposes. “Riding” the brakes, in this fashion, reduces gas mileage and increases how often you will need brake repair.

Most of us use our cars to drive on familiar roads which makes driving a routine and pleasant task. If you are driving on roads familiar to you, then recognizing and keeping in mind certain spots, like a school crossing, or a tight turn, will make it easy to anticipate where to slow down. Slowing your car before you reach these spots will reduce pressure on your brakes significantly.

Even if you are traveling on roads unfamiliar to you, you can lookout for telltale signs and save your brakes. If cars ahead are slowing down, or if you spot a signal or a turn from a distance, you can reduce the speed to avoid unnecessary braking.

Brake systems are dependent on fluids or oils which run through tubes. Changing these fluids every so often makes your braking system last longer. It is a good idea to have them checked when you take your car into Brake Team for routine oil changes.

All these measures will reduce the wear and tear on your car's braking system, but you can never fully avoid it. So no matter if you drive an imported luxury vehicle, or a modest domestic car, getting your brakes checked regularly should be the number one point on your car maintenance list.