Brakes 101

When we were three, four or five years old, we all fell from our bike at least once because we had pressed too hard on the brakes. That was a first encounter with one of road safety crucial element, whether you’re cycling or driving!

Considering their major importance, brakes must be checked on a regular basis. In fact, a defective or used brake can damage other parts of your car. Most common symptoms are: a noisy brake, reduced performance, a pulsation of the brake pedal, the emergency brake that stops working, and when the dashboard shows that the brake light is on.

What should be part of your routine.

In general, the usual seasonal maintenance includes the verification of brakes and their lubrication level. A small adjustment may be required to ensure they don’t wear unevenly.

The winter and summer tire change periods are perfect to make this verification, more importantly when the climate is harsh and road conditions are hard on the brakes. Rust must be prevented at all cost for it is the brake system’s number one enemy. In most cases, a visual inspection is sufficient to determine the level of wear. If not, once in a while, it may be necessary to remove the brakes to lubricate their various components.

General Rule

The hydraulic braking system is the most common. The principle is quite simple: depressing the brake pedal creates an oil pressure inside the brake lines. Under this pressure, the brake bands and linings hit the brake discs or drums, thus slowing
the car.

For safety and insurance reasons, it is better to bring the vehicle to a workshop for this type of inspection and maintenance, especially for an aged vehicle or when you suspect a problem.