Brake servicing your vehicle is vital as its the most important safety feature it has.
The importance of car brake servicing means being able to slow down or stop in an instance avoids accidents and prevents injuries. The braking system on your vehicle needs to be working correctly and effectively. In order to do the job, they are designed to do it is important they are well maintained through car brake servicing.
It is recommended brakes should be regularly inspected, a test drive of your vehicle by a qualified technician can help assess whether the brake system is functioning as it should be. Here at All Trans Autos Ltd, a road test and or visual brake check without removing the road wheels are free.
To perform a complete car brake servicing report the wheels require the removal and the report includes measuring and recording brake pad and discs thicknesses: checking for uneven wear of brake pads and brake shoes: checking all hardware is correctly adjusted and lubricated: checking for leaks from wheel cylinders, brake pipes, brake master cylinders: checking the brake callipers for wear, free movement and free from leaks.
Brake fluid deteriorates over time, absorbing moisture which gives the potential for that moisture to boil when the brakes are generating heat therefore, giving temporary loss of braking.
All of the components which make up the braking system need to be working correctly for the vehicle to have 100% effective brakes. All Trans Autos Ltd recommends a brake check every 6000. If your vehicle’s brakes do not feel right then just call in and we will book you in for a car brake service.
Brake pads convert the kinetic energy of the vehicle to thermal energy through friction. Two brake pads are contained in the brake caliper, with their friction surfaces facing the brake disc. When the brakes are applied, the caliper clamps or squeezes the two pads together onto the spinning brake disc to slow/stop the vehicle. When the brake pad heats up due to its contact with the brake disc, small amounts of its friction material are transferred onto the disc, leaving a dull grey coating on it. The brake pad and disc (both now having the friction material), then “stick” to each other, providing the friction that stops the vehicle.
Types of Brake pads
There are different types of brake pads, depending on their intended use. Most vehicle manufacturers specify which kind of brake pad is recommended in their vehicle. Care must be taken when fitting non-standard brake pads to a vehicle. Here at All Trans Autos Ltd we only fit brake pads tested to E90 European standard, ensuring the brake pads fitted meet the exacting braking standards customers should expect.
Five of the most important characteristics that are considered when selecting a brake pad material are as follows:
- The material’s ability to resist brake fade
- The effects of water on brake fade (all brakes are designed to withstand at least temporary exposure to water)
- The ability to recover quickly from either increased temperature or moisture
- Service life as traded off with wear to the brake disc
- The ability of the material to provide smooth and even contact with the brake disc or drum
these are made from a combination of various synthetic substances bonded into a composite. They are gentle on brake discs, but produce a fair amount of dust, thus having a short service life.
Synthetics mixed with varying proportions of flaked metals. These are harder than non-metallic pads, more fade-resistant and longer lasting, but at the cost of increased wear to the disc/drum which then must be replaced sooner. They also require more actuating force than non-metallic pads in order to generate braking torque.
Fully metallic materials
These pads are used only in racing vehicles.
Composed of clay and porcelain bonded to copper flakes and filaments, these are a good compromise between the durability of the metal pads, grip and fade resistance of the synthetic variety. Their principal drawback, however, is that unlike the previous three types, despite the presence of the copper, ceramic pads generally do not dissipate heat well, which can eventually cause the pads or other components of the braking system to warp. However, because the ceramic materials causes the braking sound to be elevated beyond that of human hearing, they are exceptionally quiet.
Modern cars have brake discs on the front wheels. Some modern cars have brake discs on all four wheels.
It is the Brake discs which actually stops the vehicle.
The brake caliper squeezes the brake pads against the brake disc, the friction between the brake pad and the brake disc slows the vehicle down.
Each time the car is asked to stop the brakes convert kinetic energy, produced by the car, to heat. The heat is generated by the friction between the brake pad and the brake disc. Most brake discs are vented allowing air through the brake discs to provide cooling.
At All Trans Autos Ltd when brake replacement is carried out, carriers are cleaned and shot blasted to return them to the correct working tolerance. As a practice not always carried out by every garage, not all brake replacements are equal, failure to clean and shot blast the carriers may result in brake pads sticking in their carriers, causing brake imbalance, subsequently a shortened service life and unnecessary expense for the customer. At All Trans Autos Ltd our ethos it to provide the best value for money.
The vents can be seen here on the picture between the two surfaces.
When you push the brake pedal, Brake fluid from the master cylinder creates hydraulic pressure on one or more pistons in then Brake Caliper, forcing the brake pads against the brake discs.
When the brake pedal is released, the piston seals retract the pistons allowing the brake disc run-out to kick the brake pads away from the brake discs.
Floating brake calipers move in and out relative to the brake disc and can one or two pistons.
Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used in hydraulic and hydraulic clutch applications in cars, vans and motorbikes. It is used to transfer force into pressure.
It works because liquids are not compressible in their natural state.
Most brake fluids used today are glycol-ether based, mineral oil and silicone based fluids are available also.
For most vehicles it is recommended Brake fluid is changed every two years to maintain the efficiency of the brakes. If allowed to deteriorate due to condensation it will reduce braking efficiency.
Anti – Lock Braking system (ABS)
The ABS is an automatic safety system that allows a motor vehicle to maintain tractive contact with the road surface while braking. the ABS prevents the wheels from locking up and avoiding uncontrolled skidding.
ABS generally offers improved control and decreases stopping distances on dry and slippery surfaces; However, on loose gravel or snow-covered surfaces ABS increases braking distance although it still improved steering control.
ABS has improved considerably since its initial widespread use in production cars, they prevent wheel lock whilst braking and they electronically control the front to rear brake bias. Depending on its capabilities and implementation is known as Electronic brake force distribution (EBD), traction control system, emergency brake assist or electronic stability control (ESC)
At All Trans Autos Ltd, we are fully equipped to diagnose, repair and replace all the electronic components of the ABS, ESC and EBD systems, complete car brake servicing. The technicians employed at All Trans Autos Ltd you can be sure of the correct diagnosis with the best equipment on all makes and models. Our equipment is equivalent to the main dealers but at a much-reduced cost to you.
Brakes & ABS FAQ’s
Should I replace brake discs and Pads together?
The answer generally is YES. The brake discs do not need to be changed if the brake discs are not near the minimum thickness and there is still a lot of disc life left. They absolutely need to be changed if the discs are unevenly worn or badly scored. If you put new brake pads on old brake discs it can cause squeaking brakes and we do not recommend it.
Why do my brakes squeak?
Brake squeal is common and can be caused by several conditions: Worn pads, glazed pads and discs, broken anti rattle clips, lack of pad insulation or insulation shims, and incorrect disc surface cut or no surface cut at all. Partly seized sliders or pads may cause noise.
What does a brake report include?
A full brake report includes measuring the thickness of the brake pads and the brake discs. Checking the condition of the brake pads and discs. Checking the brake callipers for leaks and seized parts such as the pistons and sliders. Checking the condition of all brake hoses and pipes for leaks and condition. Measuring the thickness and condition of the brake shoes. Checking the handbrake cables for condition and smooth operation.
How often do I need to replace brake fluid?
Brake fluid change varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. Generally, it is replaced every 2 years. Some manufacturers state first brake fluid change is carried out at 3 years old then every 2years thereafter. Brake fluid is checked during every service at All Trans Autos Ltd to assure you your vehicle is safe for you to drive.
What is a brake imbalance?
A brake imbalance is where one set of brakes are working better than the other. Generally, this is shown up during the brake test when your vehicle is being mot’d
How long should brake pads last?
Brake life depends on the type of motoring you do. Vehicles driven mostly on motorways will replace their brakes less than a vehicle being driven mostly round town. Generally, the average brake pads should last for approximately 25,000 miles, however it has been known for brake pads to last up to 65000.
How do I know when I need new brakes?
If your brakes begin to squeak or make a grinding noise, then you need to get them checked. If your car is serviced annually and has its annual MOT test your brakes would be checked during these services. All Trans Autos Ltd offer a free visual brake check if you are worried.