What Types of Brakes Does My Car Have?
If your car, truck, or SUV was made in recent years, the vehicle may have an anti-lock braking system, which allows you to steer as your brakes are engaged. Older vehicles do not have ABS brakes. In addition to this, most cars have two or three types of brake systems. These brake systems have several parts, including brake pads and rotors. If any of these brake systems are wearing out, bringing your car into Smith Automotive for an inspection before the condition worsens is crucial. These brake systems are:
Disc Brakes - If you look through one of your car's wheels, you will see a shiny metal disc just inside. This is called a disc brake or a front brake. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, a pad of hard-wearing material clamps onto the brake disc and rubs it to make it slow down—in a similar way to bicycle brakes.
Drum Brakes - Some cars have disc brakes on all four wheels while others have disc brakes on their front wheels and drum brakes on their back wheels. Instead of the disc and brake block, drum brakes have shoes inside the hollow wheel hub that press outward. As the shoes push into the wheel, friction is created, slowing you down.
Handbrake - Your vehicle's handbrake applies force to the disc and drum brakes in a slower, less forceful way via a lever that's located between your car's two front seats. When you pull on the brake, a system of levers tugs on a pair of sturdy cables that apply the brakes to the back wheels. The handbrake system is completely mechanical and does not use brake fluid like the disk and drum brakes, so it can be used as an emergency brake (with great care) when the other brake systems fail.
What Are Brake Calipers and How Do They Work?
Brake calipers are part of your vehicle's disc brake system. They fit over the brake rotor surface and house the brake pads, which are a pair of metal plates bonded by friction material. When your vehicle's brake is engaged, brake fluid from the master cylinder produces hydraulic pressure on a single piston or multiple pistons, which forces the brake pads against the rotor. The brake pads slow the rotor down to stop your vehicle.
There are two types of brake calipers present in your vehicle. Floating calipers, also known as “sliding calipers,” have one or two pistons located on the inward side of the brake rotor. These pistons push the caliper when the brakes are applied, which creates friction from the brake pads on both sides of the rotor. Fixed rotors, on the other hand, have pistons on both sides of the brake rotor.
How Do I Know If I Need to Bring My Vehicle in for Brake Service or Repair?
Taking care of your brakes is crucial for maintaining a safe driving experience for you and your passengers. It is a feature you use every day, and even a slight change can indicate something is wrong. If your vehicle’s brakes are performing poorly and you are in Altoona, IA or Ankeny, IA, it is imperative that you bring your car in Smith Automotive for an inspection. Some warning signs include:
The brake light on your dashboard turns and stays on - If this happens, first make sure your handbrake is not engaged. If your brake light stays on, your vehicle is telling you it is time for an inspection and/or that there is a problem with your brakes.
Your car pulls to one side when braking - One brake system may be working more efficiently than the other, causing your vehicle to pull to one side when braking.
Your brake pedal feels soft or spongy - If you notice a difference in the resistance in the brake pedal (it feels “softer” or sinks all the way to the floor mat when you press on it), this is a sign you need immediate service. There could be air or moisture in the braking system or a problem with the master cylinder.
Your brakes are squeaking, grinding, or squealing - If you hear a high-pitched noise when applying your brakes, it likely means that your brake pad has worn out. This could also cause a grinding sound, which could indicate a lack of lubrication in vehicles with rear drum brakes.
You have leaking brake fluid - This may be a puddle below your car, truck, or SUV or fluid leaking from a brake line. Regardless, if your vehicle is leaking brake fluid, you're going to want to visit Smith Automotive soon.
If you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, do not hesitate to bring your vehicle to Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill today! We will make sure your shocks and struts work. We can also perform other services you may need, like scheduled maintenance, tune-ups, and engine repair.
Your Reliable Shop for Brake Calipers Repair
If you are having an issue with your brake calipers, Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill is your go-to place. Our team of Quality technicians have decades of experience and are experts in all things auto repair, including brake service and brakes repair, Diagnostics, Engine Repair, and brake calipers repair. We are one of the most reputable auto repair shops in the area and can improve your vehicle's brake performance efficiently and cost-effectively. We will make sure that all parts of your vehicle's brake system work properly and have a high performance.
Reasons You Should Do Business With Us:
We've been fixing cars since 2008 and have a review score of 100 based on reviews from 524 satisfied customers. If you are in the 50327 area or in Altoona, IA, Ankeny, IA, Des Moines, IA, Norwalk, IA, or Pleasant Hill, IA, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with Smith Automotive, either online or via phone at 515-265-4141. Smith Automotive - Your go-to team for all your automotive needs.