Tips & Advice
Brake Service & Repair
Did you know?
Racing legend Peter Brock once said, “If you’ve got good brakes you can stay out of a lot of trouble.” So if you’re hearing unusual sounds when you brake or if your brake pedal is feeling squishy or too hard, have the team at Waverley Exhaust and Brake Centre do a brake inspection for you. We’ll tell you if there’s anything wrong and what it’ll take to get your brakes fixed.
Brake fluid contamination is a concern.
Brake fluid attracts moisture which can lead to rust – not a good thing for expensive antilock brake components. Also, significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power because the water has a much lower boiling point than brake fluid. In the high temperature environment of the brake system, the water can vaporize – and steam doesn’t do a very good job of providing hydraulic pressure.
Antilock Brakes: A System Built For Safety
Computer controlled antilock braking systems (ABS) are a recently developed safety feature. When sudden stops are made, the ABS prevents wheel lockup.
The system is comprised of wheel speed sensors that monitor wheel rotation, computer controlled hydraulics that pulse the brakes on and off rapidly, and the onboard computer.
Brakes and Brake Repairs
We want our customers to have the opportunity to feel comfortable in their vehicle. You can leave the repairs and services to our professionals, but please don’t hesitate to ask us questions about why a service is needed or how it occurred. We will be happy to speak with you. Here is some valuable information on brake issues and corrective services:
Brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in the rear. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your brakes link to each wheel and to the master cylinder, which supply them with vital brake fluid (hydraulic fluid).
Braking equipment can be summarized into two categories, Hydraulics and Friction Material:
Master Cylinder: The master cylinder is like a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure, and brake fluid moves into the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses: Brake lines hoses deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers: Wheel Cylinders surrounded by two rubber sealed pistons connect the piston with the brake shoe. Push the brakes and the pistons stop and the shoes pushes into the drum. Calipers squeeze brake pads onto the rotor to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes: A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing the car to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.
Putting it all Together: When you first step on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into a system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. You actually push against a plunger in the master cylinder that releases fluid.
Brake fluid can’t be compressed. It moves through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact motion and pressure that initiated it. When it comes to stopping a heavy machine at high speed, this consistency is a good thing.
The performance of your brakes can be affected when air gets into the fluid; Since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. “Bleeder screws” (located at each wheel) remove unwanted air in your system.
A car without functioning brakes is dangerous. In many cases, warning signs will tell you if your car’s brakes need service.
Warning signs include:
- Squealing or grinding noises when using brakes. This could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or that your brake pads are worn and need replacement.
- Your dashboard’s Antilock Braking System (ABS) light turns on. This indicates that your brake fluid is low. You may have a leak in your brake line. Get it inspected immediately.
- While braking, your car pulls to one side. This means that your brakes need adjustment, there is brake fluid leakage, a seized caliper or your brakes are worn and need replacement.
- Your brakes are hard to press down or feel “spongy.” Usually this means air has gotten into your brake lines or you may have low brake fluid.
- When applying your brakes, your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire vehicle begins to shake. If this happens, your brake rotors could be warped and need machining or replacement.
When you notice any of these warning signs, contact our professional team by calling Colin or Chris immediately on 9561 1522 and we’ll take care of it.
BENEFITS OF BRAKE SERVICE & REPAIR
Bad brakes display warning signs for impending brake maintenance. For example, if your brakes squeal or grind when in use, then your brake pads may be worn and require replacements. If your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, then this may point to worn brakes, a malfunctioning caliper, or low brake fluid in the brake lines.
If your brake pedal presses down too easily—also known as “spongy” brakes—then this may be an indication of too much air in the hydraulic brake lines.
Sometimes, your vehicle’s electronic diagnostic system will alert you to a potential brake issue by a service indicator light) on the dashboard. While these are only some of the most common signs of potential problems with your vehicle’s brake system, noticing these signs of faulty brakes and seeking out a brake service can save you a lot of money later on.
Our team is trained in maintaining and servicing all the brake system components like brake pads, brake shoes, parking brakes, rotors, drums, and hydraulic systems.
If you experience any of the above signs or symptoms of bad brakes, like unusual squealing or grinding noises, then contact us today to have your brakes inspected immediately.
Brake Light – Dashboard Warning Light
The Brake Service Light can be activated for a number of reasons. The simplest cause is that the parking brake is engaged. If the brake service light is still illuminated after the parking brake has been fully disengaged, there could be a more serious issue. Lack of hydraulic pressure or a low fluid level due to leaking will both illuminate your Brake Light – and both issues indicate an immediate need for brake service.
Brake fluid leaks are particularly dangerous as they can cause your brakes to fail and contaminate different components of your braking system. Make sure your brakes are still stopping your vehicle if you are attempting to drive. If there is no brake pressure at all, it is safest to stop driving and call Colin or Chris urgently on 9561 1522.
Anti-Lock Brake System Light
The Anti-Lock Brake System Light, also known as the ABS Light, indicates that there is a malfunction in your vehicle’s anti-lock brake system. The malfunction is logged by your vehicle’s onboard computer system and the applicable codes are readable only with diagnostic tools.
Issues triggering your Anti-Lock Brake System Light can range from a dirty wheel sensor to loss of voltage. When the ABS light triggers, your anti-lock brake system disengages and does not turn back on until your vehicle is serviced. Even if the ABS light is on, you should have normal brake pedal and stopping capabilities. Contact us for Brake Service today.
Brake Fluid Flush
Brake fluid will absorb water from the air over time, causing the brake system to become less effective and the fluid to become corrosive, possibly damaging the system. It is important to perform a brake fluid flush regularly to ensure that your vehicle is using fresh fluid. Talk to our technicians about when it’s time for a brake fluid flush.
Why you should flush your Brake Fluid
Your brake fluid requires regular service because it becomes contaminated by moisture. How does moisture get into your brake fluid? Brake fluid is hygroscopic, which means that it attracts and absorbs moisture from the atmosphere, usually through the brake master cylinder reservoir and permeable brake hoses.
Moisture contamination lowers the boiling point of your brake fluid, so even under ordinary driving conditions, moisture could cause the fluid to boil and release vapor into your brake system. When this vapor compresses inside the system, you may find yourself facing a most dreaded driving crisis, dangerously low brake pedal or no brake pedal at all!
Moisture contamination can also result in very costly repairs, if you have ABS brakes. When moisture contaminated brake fluid reaches very high temperatures, as much as 200-250 degrees, an electrochemical reaction makes the fluid highly acidic. The acid breaks down the steel lines and rubber hoses and can cause early failure of the cast iron and aluminum components in the brake system.
Brake fluid contamination has become so much of a concern; car manufacturers have added brake fluid service to their required maintenance schedules.
Let our “A Grade” certified technicians at Waverley Exhaust and Brake Centre perform this important safety service for you today.
Brake Pad & Shoe Replacement
Brake pad problems can usually be identified by squealing brakes. If your brake pads deteriorate completely, you’ll hear a grinding metal on metal sound when braking, meaning that it’s too late and you’re ruining your rotors or drums! You should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.
In a disc brake system, rotors are attached to your vehicle’s wheels. When the brake pads grip the rotor, they bring both the rotor and wheels to a stop. However, the friction causes grooves and cracks to appear over time.
Resurfacing brings the rotor back to a “like new” condition, reducing squealing and pulsation. We will give your rotors a thorough inspection and recommend your best course of action.
The brake caliper houses your brake pads and fits around the rotor like a clamp, pressing the pads against the rotor when you brake. A brake caliber problem could cause uneven braking, making your car slide forward when you brake. Uneven braking can also cause your vehicle to slide out of control in bad weather conditions, so contact us as soon as possible.
A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurised brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes. A crushed hose can cause a lagged or slow brake, and a leak in the hose can cause the brake, or the entire brake system, to fail. These don’t need to be replaced often, but should be checked and replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.
Wheel bearings are found inside of wheels, allowing the wheels to spin freely, and are connected to the brake system. They can become worn over time, causing a vibrations and noise as the car is driven. If they break completely, the vehicle will become very difficult to control and unsafe to drive. Replacement interval for wheel bearings varies greatly, but they should be checked for wear periodically. We can make sure that your bearings are in good shape and let you know if they need replacement.
Antilock Brake System
Antilock Brake Systems (ABS) ensure that the wheels don’t stop rotating during braking, preventing the car from skidding and offering greater control. If your ABS light comes on, visit us and we will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.
The Parking Brake uses Cables to mechanically apply the brakes (usually the rear brake.) This is used to prevent the car from rolling when not being driven.
Brakes that work properly are essential to your safety as you drive around our eastern suburbs. You want to carefully maintain your brakes.
If you hear squealing or grinding when braking, have Waverley Exhaust and Brake Centre check it out.
We’ll have a certified “A Grade” technician perform a thorough brake inspection to see what needs to be done. He’ll check for signs of brake problems and go over other brake components to see that they’re working properly. He can tell you if it’s time to replace the brake pads or if there are other issues with your brakes that should be addressed.
Some people in our Notting Hill, Waverley and Clayton communities ignore the warning signs and keep driving long after the brakes are completely worn out. When that happens, metal brake components grind together affecting your ability to stop and damaging parts enough that they have to be resurfaced or replaced.
These worn or damaged components can be easily replaced. The new brake parts we put on your vehicle will restore your brakes to manufacturers’ specifications.
Taking care of your brakes keeps them working safely – and you could prevent premature brake repairs down the road.
Call Colin or Chris at Waverley Exhaust and Brake Centre on 9561 1522 and book your FREE brake inspection TODAY!
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