*Make sure you look for the ASE patch on your mechanic's uniform

 The most important part of caring for the car brakes is being certain that an ASE certified technicians is doing the work. Braking technology has come a long way since the early days of the automobile, and continues to evolve. More reason to picky when it comes to who works on your brakes.

To ensure a safe braking system and driving experience for you, our ASE certified technicians use the Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines to check the following:

  • Disc brake rotors and pads, calipers and hardware
  • Brake drums and shoes, wheel cylinders, and return springs
  • Parking brake cables
  • Hydraulic system including the master cylinder, brake fluid and hoses, and the power booster

While brake systems vary by make and model, basically you'll find disc brakes in front, and either disk or drum brakes in the rear. A network of tubes and hoses connects your brakes to each wheel and the master cylinder, while supplying everything with hydraulic (brake) fluid.

To complicate matters, your braking equipment consists of two things: 1) hydraulics and 2) friction materials. When you press down on your brake pedal, so much happens -- more than we have space here to mention. But basically, hydraulics and friction materials work together in a kind of brake ballet to help your 2,000-pound car come to a halt, even at a high speed. Here's a simple breakdown of how your brake parts interact with each other:

1. Hydraulics -- includes the master cylinder, brake lines and hoses, and wheel cylinders and calipers.

The master cylinder converts the physical pressure exerted by your foot into hydraulic pressure. Meanwhile, brake fluid is sent to your wheel brakes via a system of brake lines and hoses. Then wheel cylinders go to work, forcing pistons out, which push the brake shoes into the brake drum. Things called "calipers" squeeze brake pads onto the "rotor" to stop your car. Both of these components apply pressure to friction materials....

2. Friction Materials -- includes the disc brake pads and drum brake shoes.

A disc brake uses brake fluid to force pressure into a caliper, where it presses against a piston. The piston then squeezes two brake pads against the rotor, forcing it to stop. Brake shoes consist of a steel shoe with a steel shoe with friction material bonded to it.

Bad braking can occur when air gets into the hydraulic fluid. The solution? Bleeder screws located at each wheel cylinder are removed to bleed the brake system. This gets rid of any unwanted air found in your braking system.

Our AE certified technicians can tell you more about your braking system. Just ask.

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