If your brakes squeal or grind, grab causing jerky stops, or your warning light flashes it may be time for a free brake system inspection. Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service offers a free brake and safety inspection on most cars and light trucks. Waiting for brake squeal, grinding noises or a soft pedal can be a costly mistake. Drop by any Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service for your free, no-obligation brake inspection today.
What matters most to us is you. we want to give you every assurance that we can get the job done quickly, correctly and at a fair price! So feel free to ask any questions you may have about the performance of your vehicle. Stop by the shop or give us a call at (301) 645-3722 we’ll be happy to speak with you. Below is a short explanation of how the typical brake system works and some of the services that Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service offers.
About Your Brake System's Components
Getting your car started and moving is important but stopping your car safely and effectively is critical. Stomping your foot on the brake pedal activates a finely tuned system that requires periodic brake maintenance to ensure it works correctly.
In the early days of automobiles, brakes were mostly of the ‘drum’ type and required regular adjustment. Disc brakes gradually replaced drum brakes on the front of cars and now most new cars have disc brakes on all four wheels.
DISC BRAKESDisc brakes offer better stopping power than similar drum brakes and have better resistance to brake fade caused by overheating or moisture. Disc brakes usually have two brake pads that clamp over and squeeze a disc rotor. The rotor is connected to the wheel. The pads are held in place and controlled by a caliper connected to a wheel hub. When the brakes are applied, hydraulic pressure squeezes the pads against the rotors which slows or stops the vehicle.
DISC PADSBrake pads are metal plates with a friction material bonded to them. This material is made of different compositions and has different wear factors depending on the type of vehicle. As the pads are squeezed against the rotors repeatedly, over thousands braking actions, the pads will wear down. Different brake systems have different methods to alert you that the pad needs replacement. Newer, more luxury vehicles have electronic sensors, other vehicles have small metal clips that will rub against the rotor and “chirp” when the pad is getting worn. The important thing to remember is that brakes are the most important part of your vehicle. If for any reason your brakes are squeaking or just don’t ‘feel’ right, bring your vehicle in right away for a no-cost inspection.
DISC ROTORSUnder normal conditions, the brake rotors don’t need maintenance as often as the brake pads. But the rotors must have a smooth surface to perform correctly. If the rotors become scratched or grooved they need to be resurfaced. If the damage is extensive, the rotor needs to be replaced. Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service will give your rotors a complete inspection and recommend the best path to correct the problem.
BRAKE FLUIDThe hydraulic pressure that powers the rotors to grip so strongly is generated from the master cylinder. Brake fluid flows under high pressure through hoses between the master cylinder and the brake assembly at the wheels. The hoses generally last a very long time but can leak or crack so they do require periodic inspection. Brake fluid is susceptible to contamination by air and moisture which in turn can greatly affect its performance. Regular inspection of brake fluid levels is recommended and periodic flushing and replacement of fluid may be necessary as well.
Anti-lock 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 Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service where we will be happy to diagnose and fix the problem.
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 the mechanics at Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service about when it's time for a brake fluid flush.
A brake hose is a tube carrying pressurized 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 replaced at the first sign of cracking or wear.
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! Those with knowledge of auto repair may be able to fix this at home, but you should always see an auto repair professional immediately if you have brake problems.
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 caliper 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 Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service as soon as possible.
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 wobbling. Boswell's Auto & Fleet Service will give your rotors a thorough inspection and recommend your best course of action.