Hollywood is famous for putting our worst fears (or just major problems) on screen. They do this in horror movies like The Poltergeist, causing many children (and adults) to fear clowns and the static on a television. However, varied those fears or problems can be—from sharks to evil leprechauns—one common theme is car trouble. And let’s be honest who hasn’t dealt with car trouble? While you may have never dealt with Hollywood built problems like having someone sabotage your vehicle or uncontrollably rolling down a hill in Sacramento, CA, most likely you have had to do regular maintenance on your vehicle including a brake service.
One of the most important components of a vehicle is the brake system. The brake system is responsible for slowing the vehicle and stopping it. Without a fully-functioning brake system, a vehicle would not have any way to slow itself except for gravity and would require rolling until the vehicle stops itself naturally. The vehicle would also be unable to keep itself in place and would be prone to rolling away (this would be a huge problem if you lived on a hill). Due to how often brakes are used and the nature of their use, brakes have a tendency to wear down quickly and require frequent service.
While a brake service can be performed from home, it is often a time-consuming and challenging process. To avoid these issues you can visit Kings Ford Quick Lane in Cincinnati, Ohio. We know how important brakes are and we have the tools to complete any brake service you might need from fluid change to replacing a broken brake caliper.
The Importance of Brakes
While moving is certainly important for a vehicle, stopping is equally if not more important. Slowing and stopping is accomplished by the vehicle’s brake system, which is a mechanical device that inhibits motion by absorbing mechanical energy. It usually accomplishes this by using the friction created between two surfaces rubbing against each other, which converts the kinetic energy into heat. This heat is stored in the brake, and eventually dissipated into the air. In most vehicles, this friction is created between a rotor which is attached to the vehicle’s wheel and a set of brake pads, which are composed of a number of different metallic, synthetic, and ceramic materials. When a person steps on their brake pedal, a piston inside of the brake caliper pushes the brake pads up against the rotor, creating friction and slowing the vehicle down. Working brakes are important for avoiding accidents, as the vehicle is not great at slowing down and stopping on its own, and being unable to stop suddenly could cause an accident.
When it comes to brakes, there are many different components that come in to play. The primary instrument that is responsible for slowing the vehicle is comprised of three parts; a rotor, brake pads, and a caliper. The caliper contains a piston which pushes the brake pads against the rotor, creating friction. This friction wears down the brake pads and the rotors, and they must be replaced from time to time to keep the brakes working properly. Sometimes, the piston inside the brake caliper can begin sticking, which will unevenly apply the brake pads, wearing them down unevenly. It will continue to unevenly wear them down and prematurely ruin them unless the brake caliper is replaced. The brake caliper is filled with brake fluid, which is brought from the brake fluid pump to the caliper via brake lines underneath the vehicle. These brake lines are often exposed to the elements, and can sometimes develop rust and rot. If this happens, the brakes will lose pressure and become less effective over time. To fix this, the lines need to be cut out and replaced, which is a process best left to professionals.
Time for New Brakes?
While vehicles can be sometimes loud, there are certain sounds one can look out for that can alert them to the required service. The most common form of brake service one will find themselves having to perform will be changing the brake pads and rotors. One can actually determine if the pads and rotors need to be changed by listening to their vehicle while they are braking. If the vehicle begins making a loud grinding noise that sounds like metal-on-metal coming from the tires, odds are the pads and rotors are worn down and need to be changed. You can also tell if you need new brakes if your vehicle pulls to a particular side when you brake, and if the brake pedal shakes, vibrates, or gives resistance when you press on it. This could indicate either the rotor being warped or the tires being out of alignment.
There are a few other warning signs that one should look out for that may indicate they need a different form of brake servicing done. One potential warning sign is if the brakes feel less-responsive, and the pedal seems to sink to the floor easily. This could mean that there is a leak in the brake system somewhere, either an air leak or a brake line leak. A great way to determine if it is a leak in the brake lines is if there is a puddle that forms under the vehicle while it is sitting. Brake fluid looks similar to fresh motor oil; however, it appears thicker. Another sign to look out for is if the vehicle pulls to a side while braking or brakes unevenly. This could indicate either the brake fluid needing to be drained and replaced or the brake caliper sticking on one side and unevenly applying the brake pad.
You can also determine the life of the brakes by looking through the spokes on their rims directly at the brake pads. They should have at least a ¼ of an inch; any less and they should be replaced. All of these can be determined, and save you from future headaches, by taking your vehicle to a trained professional for their diagnostic.
Brake Service in the Cincinnati Area
Working on brakes can be a tedious, dirty, and complicated process that can be very difficult to accomplish without the proper tools. There are certain forms of brake service that would simply be impossible for the everyday vehicle owner to perform from home, as they require specialized tools and a decent amount of technical knowledge. While you might not get a mechanic who can drive half as well as Dominic Toretto in the Fast and the Furious movies, you can avoid the Hollywood designed drama and your own personal headache by visiting a trusted brake service technician.
One of the best places that a vehicle owner can take their vehicles to for brake servicing is their local dealership, as they employ fully-licensed mechanics who specialize in that particular brand of vehicle. Each make and model is different, and the more familiar a mechanic is with a vehicle the better. For Ford owners in the Cincinnati area, there is no better place to take your Ford than Kings Ford. Our service department features some of the top Ford technicians in the area, not only for brake service but for all forms of service. When it comes to brake service, familiarity is very useful for both the technician and the owner. Not only will the mechanic have an easier time and know exactly which parts are the best for the specific vehicle, but they will be able to get the job done quicker, which makes the wait much shorter for the vehicle’s owner. And when it comes to Fords in the Cincinnati area, there is not a shop around that is more familiar with them than Kings Ford.