The Importance of Brake Maintenance In Waupaca, WI
Living in Waupaca, WI means you experience the change in seasons. Which also means that you have to drive in the snow and ice. When you do, the ice-melt chemicals on the road splash onto the chassis of your vehicle. Combined with moisture, the chemicals exacerbate the rusting process. Everything on the chassis – and the chassis itself – is subject to rust, including fuel lines and brake lines.
Checking Your Vehicle’s Brake System
You should check your vehicle’s brake system often. Most people do not think of their vehicle’s brakes until they hear the scrubbing noise when the pads are low or notice the brake pedal is low.
When a mechanic at Little Wolf Auto puts your vehicle on the lift for an oil change or other maintenance, we’ll check the brake lines, pads, calipers, shoes, drums, and wheel cylinders. We will also inspect to see if your vehicle still has the old-style drum brakes – to ensure that you do not have brake fluid leaks and that the brake pads and shoes have enough meat left on them.
Brake lines are metal and are under pressure. As soon as a pinhole caused by rust breaks through, you will lose braking power. As you press on the brake pedal, the action puts more pressure on lines, and what might not have been leaking could suddenly leak.
You could also get air into the system, which could cause your vehicle’s brakes to work intermittently or not at all.
Brake System Components
The brake system is comprised of several components, including the master cylinder, the vacuum brake booster, the ABS, brake lines, calipers, pads, and rotors. Some vehicles still use wheel cylinders, shoes, and drums – usually on the rear.
Every component must be working correctly and must be in good condition for you to stop the vehicle. If a brake line is rusted, you won’t have enough pressure getting through the lines to close the calipers or wheel cylinders. These components force the pads or shoes against the rotors or drums, which causes friction to slow the vehicle.
A cable runs under the vehicle from the emergency brake pedal or handle to the brakes on one rear wheel if you have a manual emergency brake. When you pull the handle or press the pedal, a metal line forces the pads or shoes to clamp the rotor or press on the inside of the drum to keep the tire from moving.
If the line becomes rusted, it could break. You wouldn’t have emergency brakes.
How Often You Should Check Your Vehicle’s Brakes
Whenever you bring your vehicle in for auto repair in Waupaca, WI, we will check the brakes on your car. Because of the snow and ice melt on the roads, we at Little Wolf Auto recommend that you have your brake system checked at least twice a year – in the fall and the spring.
We also recommend that if you notice the brake pedal feels spongy or soft, that you bring your vehicle in as soon as possible. That could be a sign of several issues, including low pads, a malfunctioning caliper or master cylinder, or a leak in the brake lines.