Brake Safety

At Five Star Autocentre our customers are the top priority. We want you to have a vehicle on which you can rely on and which you can drive safely.

When it comes to brakes we have a saying that goes “However fast you want to drive, you have to be able to stop”.

Worn brake pads are one of the most common problems we find on the vehicles we see everyday. This is why we’ve written this article so you’ll know what to look out for, how to save money on your brakes, and stay safe at the same time.

Dangers

Brakes are among the most important parts of any vehicle. If your brakes are faulty, you could experience increased stopping distances, skidding and in some cases brake failure. It goes without saying that ultimately this could lead to an accident that could have been prevented.

Faulty brakes, including ones that work inefficiently or intermittently, increase the likelihood of a driver being held responsible for injuries and property damage.

We not only want to keep you safe, but we also want to save you money because worn pads can cause unnecessary brake disc damage.

How Brakes Work

When you press your brake pedal, a lever puts pressure on a piston that is filled with hydraulic fluid and is connected to a master cylinder. This hydraulic system multiplies your foot’s pressure to create enough force to apply the brakes and bring the car to a stop.

Modern cars tend to be fitted with brakes that are made up of brake discs, brake callipers, and brake pads. The hydraulic fluid is what causes the brake callipers to push the brake pads against the brake discs.  The complex component combination in the majority of cars these days include an ABS (Anti Lock Braking System) with sensors that record wheel speeds and a computer that controls the brakes in emergency conditions.

This technology means the majority of brake faults we find involve pads and the discs. These are subject to wear and need replacing from time to time.

Extending brake life

It’s all about progressive braking. Progressive braking involves applying pressure to the brakes gently at first, then increasingly harder in a smooth transition. It doesn’t mean you can’t brake firmly but progressive braking makes braking develop gradually rather than stamping on the pedal and is kinder on the system.

Used correctly it can:

  • Prevent wheels locking
  • Reduce the chances of skidding
  • Boost fuel economy
  • Give other road users plenty of time to react if necessary
  • Reduce brake wear

Progressive braking can also save you money!

Brake Faults Awareness

Even if you’ve been using progressive braking at some point you’ll need a brake repair. If you are concerned about your brakes, booking an inspection is crucial.

What you should look out for includes:

  • Squealing, grinding or squeaking noises
  • Vibration, wobbling or scraping when braking
  • A spongy or soft brake pedal
  • Increased car stopping distance
  • The brake fluid light coming on
  • The ABS light coming on
  • The brake-pad-wear light coming on

When should you replace your brakes?

Brakes must be replaced when there is an issue. Vehicle maintenance is about prevention, not cure. Brakes should be inspected when a vehicle is serviced or when you suspect there is an issue.

Our technicians inspect pads and discs, comparing measurements with the manufacturer’s specifications to ensure you can drive safely at all times. This image below shows the difference between a new braking component and an old one that should be replaced. This is why it’s important that accurate measurements are undertaken and not just a visual inspection.

As well as inspecting pads and discs, at Five Star Autocentre we also test the car’s brake fluid, because this has a service life and can significantly affect braking performance.

At Five Star Autocentre we put your safety first. So if you have any concerns about your brakes or you’d just like to be on the safe side then book in for a quick inspection today.

Call Five star Autocentre on (01484) 54 54 22