Your car’s brakes might be the most important safety feature. Every time you step on the brake pedal, it triggers an intricate process involving hydraulic pressure and friction to bring your vehicle to a stop. Obviously, your foot alone cannot provide enough force to bring a two-ton car to a stop.
There are two brake types. Some vehicles come equipped with both drum brakes and disc brakes. Today, most modern cars have at least two disc brakes. Usually the disc brakes are on the front wheels. Some have disc brakes on all four wheels. There is a tremendous amount of heat that is released by the friction from these disc brakes coming into contact with the wheel. To prevent overheating, most disc brakes are vented.
To understand how disc brakes work, it might be easiest to imagine the brakes on your bicycle. Bicycle brakes have a caliper that sits on the wheel and looks like a pin, connected to a cable that runs to your hand brakes. When you brake, the caliper squeezes on the black brake pads on either side against the wheel. In an automobile, however, the brakes squeeze the rotor, not the wheel itself.
Drum brakes are different than disc brakes but still rely on the same hydraulic pressure system. Relative to your pressure, the hydraulic pressure applied is translated to a piston that pushes the brake shoes against the drum that comes into contact with the wheel. When you hit the brake pedal, the piston pushes the brake shoes against the drum.
This “wedging action” is illustrated in the image by the green/grey brake shoes against the blue drum. When you release your foot from the brake, the shoes pull away from the drum. When the E-brake is engaged, the red emergency brake lever forces the two shoes apart against the drum and locks it into place.
As you can imagine, brake pads wear down over time. Most commonly, that squealing noise is attributed to a piece of metal called a wear indicator. This is the case with disc brakes. The wear indicator comes into contact with the disc as excessive friction caused by the braking action wears out the braking pads. The squealing noise tells you that it’s time to service the vehicle’s brakes. Another reason for the squeaking might be due to excessive vibration if your brakes are not fit correctly. This is more common with drum brakes.
There may be other reasons, too. The technicians at Oceanside Motorsports should see your car to make sure that it’s not a more serious issue. If ignored, you may begin to hear a grinding sound. The grinding noise indicates that the brake pads have completely worn down to the rotors. Replacing the rotors will be a costly expense.
Oceanside Motorsports will change your brake pads at a reasonable price.
There are many different kinds of brake pads, all of which Oceanside Motorsports will service. Of note are three different kinds. The first and most common are metallic brake pads. Metallic brake pads are cheap and long lasting. However, metallic brake pads are heavy and can affect your gas mileage and MPG. For most drivers, the positives of metallic brake pads outweigh the negatives, especially since metallic brake pads are good for stopping heavy vehicles. This is why they are most common in Oceanside, Ca.
Then there are organic brake pads, including Kevlar brake pads. They are advantageous because they are eco-friendly brake pads made of materials that don’t pollute and you can dispose of them without worrying about harming the environment. Organic brake pads are much quieter than metallic brake pads but do not have the same stopping power of metallic brake pads at high speeds.
Oceanside Motorsports is knowledgeable of all brakes and brake pad types, modern or antique.
ABS, or anti-lock braking systems, are another safety measure in most modern cars. Drivers have a tendency to slam on their brakes in an emergency situation. Say you’re driving on ice or you need to stop suddenly. The anti lock brakes allow the contact patch to slide relative to the surface. This stops the car from skidding, allows you to stop faster and assists steering.
ABS has a controller that will monitor sensors that measure the speed of the vehicle at all times. If you suddenly decelerate, the anti lock brakes will sense it. The controller recognizes that such deceleration is not possible. The pressure to the brakes will then reduce until you accelerate then increase pressure until deceleration occurs again. What does this look like? When the tire slows at the same speed that the vehicle does the brakes come very close to locking but don’t, maximizing your stoppage power. What does this feel like? It creates a pulsing in the pedal caused by the rapid flux of the hydraulic fluid as the valves to the brakes open and close.
People throughout San Diego, Ca come to Oceanside Motorsports auto for our expertise when it comes to disc brakes, drum brakes and brake pads best suited for your vehicle type.
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343 Airport Rd, Oceanside, CA 92058 Phone: (760)721-5500