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Car Repair Brakes at Fergies Thatcham and Newbury Garage

All You Need to Know About Brake Safety

Our goal at Fergies is to keep you safe in a vehicle you can trust. We have a saying…

“It doesn’t matter how fast you go, you have to be able to stop”.

This is slightly worrying as worn brake pads are one of the most common faults found on a vehicle.  We have written this article so you’ll know what to look out for, how to save money on your brakes, and stay safe at the same time.

The Dangers

Faulty brakes can lead to a reduction in brake efficiency. When this occurs you could experience increased stopping distances, skidding and in some cases brake failure. It goes without saying that ultimately this could lead to an accident that could have been prevented.

Not only that but worn pads can often damage your brake discs leading to a premature replacement and unnecessary expense.

What Are Brakes?

Modern braking systems are a highly complex mix of mechanical and electrical componentry. The majority of cars on our roads have ABS (Anti Lock Braking Systems) which means you’ll have sensors that record wheel speed and a computer that monitors and controls brake application under emergency conditions.

With all this technology though, the majority of brake faults are found to be with brake pads and brake discs. These friction components are designed to wear and be replaced when required.

Let’s take a look at how your brakes work

The pressure you apply to the brake pedal is amplified by the brake booster. This, in turn, creates pressure in the master cylinder and pushes brake fluid to your brake calliper.

The fluid pressure in the calliper is applied to the brake piston which moves forward pressing your brake pads against your brake disc. Friction caused between the brake pad and disc slows the road wheel bringing you to a halt.

How to make your brakes last longer

It’s all about progressive braking. Progressive braking is essentially variable braking instead of constant braking. When using progressive braking you should start slight, increase with pressure and finish light.

When used correctly, progressive braking will…

  • Prevent locked wheels
  • Prevent the vehicle from skidding
  • Save fuel
  • Allow other road users to easily react to your driving actions
  • Reduce wear on brakes and other mechanical components

There’s a lot to like about progressive braking, especially as it will save you money!

Brake Faults – what should you look out for?

Even if you’ve been using progressive braking at some point you’ll need a brake repair. It goes without saying that if you’re concerned about your brakes then booking in for an inspection is crucial, after all, better to be safe than sorry.

Here’s a list of some things to look out for:

  • High pitch squeal or ringing noise when you use your brakes
  • Vibration when braking
  • The brake pedal feels unusually soft or hard when depressed
  • You suspect that your stopping distance has increased
  • Brake fluid light is illuminated
  • ABS light is illuminated
  • Your brake pad wear light is illuminated
  • You hear a grinding noise when you apply your brakes

When should you replace your brakes?

Before it’s too late!

When it comes to vehicle maintenance prevention is always preferable to cure. You should have your brakes checked when your vehicle is serviced or when you suspect that there may be an issue.

Our technicians will measure your brake pads and brake discs, and compare these measurements to the manufacturer specifications to ensure that they have sufficient service life. This will enable you to drive safely until your next brake inspection.

The image below outlines the difference between braking components that are old and require replacing and the new ones. This is why it’s important that accurate measurements are undertaken and not just a visual inspection.

As well as checking the brake pads and discs we will test your brake fluid as this also has a service life and can affect braking performance.

If in doubt…

For us, it’s all about your safety and you driving a car you can trust.

So if you have any concerns about your brakes or you’d just like to be on the safe side then book in for a quick inspection today.

Call Us Today