Not only your safety, but also the safety of other road users depends on the efficiency of the braking system. This extremely important piece of equipment in your car deserves regular inspection to maintain the highest level of efficiency. How to perform a brake inspection?
Discs and calipers
It turns out that Polish drivers are often very irresponsible with regard to the braking system in their vehicles. Very often we ignore the faults of this system, not thinking about the consequences of our actions; after all, the safety of all road users depends mainly on the efficiency of the brakes
As one of the owners of a vehicle inspection station informed us: the failures of the braking system which we most often find include worn out brake pads, discs, drums and shoes, ineffective parking brake or leaks from the braking system. Uncorrected failures result in longer stopping distances or can affect loss of vehicle control. However, the brakes are not only the previously mentioned components, but also the brake fluid, which most vehicle owners do not know about the need for periodic replacement.
The most common symptoms of failure
Among the first symptoms of a malfunctioning brake system is the lighting up of the brake lights. The information provided by the lights may vary depending on the manufacturer, but in the vast majority of cases we are informed of the need to add brake fluid, replace the pads or discs, or check the state of sealing of the system. Other disturbing phenomena include metallic sounds or tremors and vibrations accompanying braking. You should also be concerned about any increase in stopping distance.
How to perform the inspection?
Without specialised workshop facilities, a proper inspection can prove to be a tough nut to crack. Nevertheless, it is worth concentrating on the most important points of the braking system
Effective brake fluid must have the highest possible boiling point. The boiling point of brand new brake fluid is about 280 degrees Celsius. It is worth remembering that the critical value for the brake fluid is 165 degrees Celsius. After exceeding this lower limit, the fluid becomes practically useless in the brake system
What do the experts think about it? As Grzegorz Parulski, service director at Fota Ltd. explains: “Few drivers know that brake fluid should be replaced every 3 years. Most of them, upon noticing any deficiencies, simply add new fluid to the reservoir and often the fluid is not replaced for a dozen or so years or even never”
After checking the condition of the oil, it is worth moving on to the physical aspects; they are directly responsible for the braking process. Pay attention not only to the thickness of your car’s discs and pads, but also to their overall condition. The thickness of the brake disc must not fall below the limiting thickness expressed by the parameter “Minimum TH”. It is worth reminding that a brake pad wears out on average twice as fast as a disc. By the way, pay attention to the calipers; they are very often negatively affected by external factors
The next step you can take is to evaluate the temperature of the rims. Start by driving without braking. If any of the rims are noticeably warmer than the others, it’s probably a sign of rubbing brake pads or shoes. Then do a proper temperature test after driving a few miles using frequent braking. Remember to be careful; rims can burn! If any of the rims are cooler than the others, you can be almost certain that you are dealing with an abnormality in this area.