A large percentage of driveabilty problems stem from brake issues. Brakes can cause shaking, pulsing, vibrations, squeaks, rattles, jerking and not to mention poor stopping ability. Properly diagnosing these symptoms leads to less costly repairs. It is usually necessary to test drive a vehicle and then do a visual inspection. If you are having any of these symptoms, give us a call. We will “Make It Feel Right”.
Q: How do brakes work?
A: Most vehicles today have disc brakes on the front wheels and either disc or drum type on the rear. The system is hydraulically actuated by the pressure of your foot on the pedal which pushes on the brake master cylinder. This pressure is assisted by the brake booster. When you apply the brakes on a disc brake system, pressure is transmitted to the brake caliper. The caliper houses the brake pads which squeeze the brake rotor and cause the vehicle to slow. On drum brakes, pressure is exerted through a wheel cylinder to the brake shoes which expand out to contact the brake drum.
Q: My brakes are noisy, what can be done?
A: Noise from brakes can be caused by several things; worn brake or suspension parts, uneven friction surfaces, excessive heat, fluid leakage or poor quality parts. Solving a brake noise problem is as easy as cleaning and refinishing the surfaces or replacing worn or defective parts. Commonly noise is the result of inferior quality parts.
Q: Why does my steering wheel shake when I apply the brakes?
A: If a brake rotor is not true, it has high and low spots. As the pads are squeezed against the rotor, these high and low spots cause the pads to move in and out. The pads push the caliper piston back and this pressure is transmitted back to the pedal via the hydraulic system. In some cases it can also cause pulsing in the brake pedal.
Q: Why do I have to replace my brake rotors?
A: Rotors may not have to be replaced every time your car needs brakes. There is a minimum thickness allowed by the manufacturer. If the rotors are near or below that specification they will need to be replaced. Otherwise they can be resurfaced when the pads are replaced.
Q: How can I know when I need brake work?
A: Routine inspection is best. Any time a vehicle is raised on a lift at McNair Performance brakes are inspected. We don’t charge for the service. It is just one way we try to take care of our customers, keeping them safe and informed.