My Garage Brake Check

Signs your Brakes need Attention

There are a number of tell-tale signs to look out for when using your brakes. They include a grinding noise when you apply the brakes or a pull to the left or right. The grinding normally means that brake pads are excessively worn and need to be replaced along with the damaged brake discs. A pull to the left or right is normally indicative of a sticking or seized mechanical or hydraulic component.

You may also feel a continuous "pulsating" from the pedal or a "spongy" feeling. This spongy feeling indicates that there is air in the hydraulic system due to a brake fluid leak. The "pulsating" feel is normally associated with a distorted brake disc or drum.

More obviously, you may notice an illuminated brake warning light on the instrument panel or that your handbrake is pulling up higher than it normally does - in modern cars, more than 6 to 8 clicks.

For safety's sake, it's important to have your vehicle inspected as quickly as possible when you notice any of the above symptoms. Call 01384 885006, speak to Paddy or Pete to arrange a check.

About Brakes

Everyone knows that your braking system is what stops your car safely. At My Garage we know how important the regular inspection and maintenance of your brakes can be.

Today’s vehicle braking systems involve many different components working together to help you to stop and manoeuvre your vehicle in a controlled manner. The key components of your vehicle braking system include a master cylinder, servo, brake callipers, brake fluid and cylinders, disks, drums, pads and shoes. All the components are linked by a series of brake hoses and brake pipes containing brake fluid, so when you press your brake pedal the vehicle slows down and stops. The rate at which your brakes reduce the vehicle speed is determined by the amount and duration of foot pressure is applied to your brake pedal, and of course your braking system's condition.

Brakes are in use more often when driving around town than on a motorway journey, not forgetting that you may need to use your brakes to stop your vehicle quickly in an emergency. So maintaining an effective vehicle braking system is a top priority for every motorist.

Regular brake checks are an important part of any vehicle preventative maintenance plan. Brake checks can identify a problem before it begins to impact your braking efficiency, thus providing an opportunity to restore the effectiveness of your vehicle's braking system to its intended operating performance. The effects of a sudden brake failure can be devastating and in the event of an accident attributed to faulty brakes, the consequences of not maintaining an effective braking system could result in prosecution. Your vehicle will also fail its MOT test if braking efficiency is below specification.

The performance of your vehicle's braking system is tested on a rolling road to measure the amount of braking force generated while operating the hand and foot brake. The braking force generated is then recorded and compared to the manufacturer's specified tolerance level. Any reading or imbalance falling outside these tolerance levels will result in an MOT test failure.

As best practice for people who cover average or greater than average annual mileage and for normal coverage motorists, My Garage recommend that a vehicle's braking system is checked at least twice a year.

How do brakes wear differently?

Different driving patterns have a dramatic effect on how often your brakes need servicing. For example, a set of brake pads could last up to 60,000 miles or more on a car driven mostly on the motorway, may last only 25,000 or 30,000 miles or less on the same vehicle driven in busy city traffic.

Front brakes normally wear out before rear brakes because they handle a higher percentage of the braking load, especially on front-wheel drive cars.

It is often recommended that brake pads should be replaced if the pad friction material has worn down to a thickness of 3 millimeters. Brake disc thickness should be measured and replaced if they measure at or below the manufacturer's safe minimum thickness specification.

My Garage also recommends that brake discs or drums are replaced in axle sets. Replacing one brake disc or drum could cause an imbalanced braking performance that could lead to further premature wear.

When new parts are fitted, it's vital to drive gently and carefully until they 'bed in', which takes approximately 200 miles. Excessive braking action on new parts will potentially damage them and lead to a loss of braking efficiency and performance.

For more information regarding your Brakes or to book in a Brake Check, disc or pad replacement please call 01384 848 438 and speak to Sharron or Grace or simply fill in the 'Make An Enquiry' form and we will call you back.