Your car's brakes work hard. And the job they do is critical to your safety. That's why it's so important for you to be aware of how your brakes work, and to be alert for signs that your brakes need maintenance.Here's an overview of braking systems, and tips to help you know when it's time for brake service. No matter what your brake system needs, All Tune & Lube is here to help make sure your car is functioning. Today's braking systems are composed of a number of integral parts all working together to ensure that your vehicle stops properly. Generally speaking, by depressing the brake pedal, you are telling the master cylinder to compress brake fluid, which in turn sends hydraulic pressure through brake lines that activate your vehicle's brake pads (or shoes). These pads (or shoes) then make contact with spinning rotors (or drums), slowing down or stopping the vehicle. More complex systems use sensors to activate the brake system, but the net desired effect is the same. The parts that make up your vehicle's brake system wear down over time and eventually need to be replaced. The most common brake repair performed is the replacement of brake pads (or shoes). Whether composed of ceramic, semi-metallic, or organic materials, brake pads erode each time you depress the brake pedal. If the pads wear down too much without being replaced, the metal housing for the pads will make contact with the metal rotors (or drums), which may produce not only a safety issue but a situation where the rotors/drums are required to be replaced as a result of the prolonged contact of metal parts without the pad buffer.
A pneumatic tire is made of an airtight inner core filled with pressurized air. A tread covers this inner core and provides the contact area with the road. The pressure of the air inside the tire is greater than atmospheric air pressure, so the tire remains inflated even with the weight of a vehicle resting on it. The tire’s air pressure provides resistance against forces that try to deform the tire, but it gives to a certain degree –providing a cushioning effect as the tire hits bumps in the road. Let’s take a closer look at the components and the assembly. The bead is a loop of high-strength steel cable coated with rubber. It gives the tire the strength it needs to stay seated on the wheel rim and to handle the forces applied by tire mounting machines when the tires are installed on rims. The body is made up of several layers of different fabrics, called plies. The most common ply fabric is polyester cord. The plies are coated with rubber to help them bond with the other components and to seal in the air. A tire's strength is often described by the number of plies it has. Most car tires have two body plies. By comparison, large commercial jetliners often have tires with 30 or more plies. In steel-belted radial tires, belts made from steel are used to reinforce the area under the tread. These belts provide puncture resistance and help the tire make good road contact. The sidewall provides lateral stability for the tire, protects the body plies and helps keep the air from escaping. It may contain additional components to help increase the lateral stability. The tread is made from a mixture of many different kinds of natural and synthetic rubbers. The tread and the sidewalls are extruded and cut to length. The tread is just smooth rubber at this point; it does not have the tread patterns that give the tire traction.