Effective braking aside, please remember your vehicle’s limitations.
Today’s post focuses on brakes. The mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake system and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.
Let’s step back. A car or truck rolls brand new off the showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and the power assist are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread.
Naturally, at this point, braking power is at its peak performance.
Then the kilometres driven between destinations start to add up. At this point, Kelowna drivers tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive industry, the pads and shoes on drum brakes are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life and it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of spec that they lose stopping effectiveness.
The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while stopping the vehicle. Over many kilometres, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail. That’s why a regular brake inspection is important. If you feel the least hesitation when stopping, come in and a service advisor can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.
That leads us to brake fluid service. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the fluid system are depleted over time. Combine that with moisture building up in the system and you have deterioration of the performance of the brake fluid. Flushing the brake system cleans out deposits, water and dirt, then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.
The tires are what connect the vehicle to the road. The stopping force is ultimately dependent on the traction provided by the tires. The better they grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.
Preventative maintenance and quality tires – all you need to be safe when stopping.