What Types of Brake Systems Does My Car Have?
Most modern vehicles have an anti-lock braking system, which allows you to steer as your brakes are engaged. In addition to this, most cars have two or three types of brake systems. If any of these brake systems is worn out, bringing your car into Smith Automotive for an inspection before its 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.” 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 pad, drum brakes have shoes inside the drum that press outward. As the shoes push into the wheel, friction slows you down.
Parking Brake - Your vehicle's parking brake applies force to the disc or drum brakes in a slower, less forceful way via a lever, pedal or button that's usually 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. Older parking brake systems are completely mechanical and do not use brake fluid like the disk and drum brakes, so they can be used as an emergency brake (with great care) when the other brake systems fail. Many newer vehicles use an electronic parking brake, which is similar but often uses electronic motors to engage the parking brake.
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 Pleasant Hill, it is imperative that you bring your car into Smith Automotive for an inspection. Some warning signs include:
The brake light on your dashboard turns on 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 that 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, such as that it feels “softer,” or sinks all the way to the floor mat when you press on it, it’s a sign you need immediate service. There could be air or moisture in the braking system, a leak 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 pads or shoes have worn out. This could also cause a grinding sound with or without pushing on the brake pedal.
Your ABS light is on or flashing on your instrument panel - ABS stands for anti-lock braking system. If the light is on or flashing while your car, truck, or SUV is on, it means there is a malfunction that needs attention. If your ABS light is on, give Smith Automotive a call so we can diagnose and repair the issue.
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, Diagnostics, or Engine Repair.
Your Reliable Shop for Brake Repair
We recommend that you get your car’s brakes inspected once a year. If you are in Polk, Des Moines, IA, Norwalk, IA, Pleasant Hill, IA, or the surrounding areas, you can bring your car to Smith Automotive. Since 2008, we've used the highest-quality tools and parts to make the appropriate fixes to ensure you get back on the road quickly and safely. We will perform a complete brake diagnostic to determine if the issue is coming from your Honda's brake pads, your Nissan's rotors, your Acura's fluid, your Dodge's master cylinder, or somewhere else.
Reasons You Should Do Business With Us:
At Smith Automotive in Pleasant Hill, we pride ourselves on providing thorough and transparent assessments of the vehicles we service. So, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicle in for an inspection today. If you are in the 50327 area or nearby, you can give us a call or schedule an appointment with us online - Smith Automotive - Your go-to team for all your automotive needs.