The Importance of Regular Brake Checks

June 24th, 2013 by

brake changeYour brakes are your car’s most important safety system. While a strong body, airbags, and seat belts are all important, brakes are your first line of defense in avoiding danger in the first place. When properly maintained, along with the rest of your car’s drivetrain, your brakes allow you to pull off precise maneuvers and stop in a short distance. The converse is true for bad brakes. If your brakes are overly worn, it’s going to take you much longer to stop, a fact you don’t realize often until it’s too late.

In this blog entry, we’re going to explore how your brakes work and why regular maintenance keeps your safe.

Friction is Your Friend

Your car’s brakes operate in much the same way that your bicycle’s brakes do. When you pit the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure causes the brake calipers to clamp shut, slowing the wheels. Unlike your bikes brakes which apply pressure directly to the wheel, though, your car’s brake calipers clamp down on special rotors that are bolted to the wheel.

Metal on metal grinding is bad, though, so your calipers are lined with soft brake pads that are engineered to provide as much friction as possible. If you’ve ever grabbed a quickly moving rope and felt the burn in the palm of your hands, you can imagine the kind of heat generated when your calipers clamp on the rotors while traveling at speeds of over 65 mph.

This friction slowly diminishes your brake pads and prevents them from properly doing their job. Eventually, your brake pads can wear away completely. When this happens, the calipers are clamping directly onto your rotors, which will leave you with a hefty repair bill.

Looking Out for Brake Health

One of the best ways to take care of your brakes is to the make sure you get them routinely checked and maintained. Your vehicle’s manual has a service schedule that lists when you should get your brakes checked, as well as other vehicle systems.

Schedule a Brake Inspection at Cox Mazda

If you find you’re overdue for service, Cox Mazda in Bradenton offers thorough brake inspections and repairs for fair prices. We’re located on Cortez Road West, just a quarter of a mile to the west of the Sweetbay Supermarket. If you would like to make an appointment with our team, feel free to give us a call or schedule service online.