As we strive to master every aspect of automotive care, ASE technicians follow Motorist Assurance Program Uniform Inspection Guidelines for your vehicle’s braking system to be sure of safe, smooth driving.
When to have your brakes inspected:
- Squealing or grinding noises when using brakes. This could mean your brakes need to be adjusted or that your brake pads are worn and need replacement.
- Your dashboard’s Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) light turns on. This indicates that your brake fluid is low, or there may have a leak in your brake line. Get it inspected.
- While braking, your car pulls to one side. This means that your brakes need adjustment, there is brake fluid leakage, or your brakes are worn out and need to be replaced.
- Your brakes are hard to press down or feel “spongy.” Usually this means air has gotten into your brake lines or you may have low brake fluid, so schedule an appointment.
- When applying your brakes, your steering wheel, brake pedal, or entire vehicle begins to shake. If this happens, your brake rotors could be warped and need replacement.
- When you notice any brake warning signs, contact the professional staff at American Tire by phone, or email, immediately and we’ll take care of it.
A car without functioning brakes is dangerous. In many cases, warning signs like these will tell you if your car’s brakes may need service.
When your mechanic is wearing the ASE patch, you can expect brake service to be done right the first time. The brake specialists at American Tire inspect the following braking components for our Rio Rancho and Albuquerque area customers:
- Disc brake rotors and pads
- Calipers and hardware
- Brake drums and shoes
- Wheel cylinders
- Return springs
- Master cylinder
- Brake fluid and hoses
- Power booster
Your vehicle’s brake system is a culmination of over 100 years of automotive innovation, transforming crude stopping mechanisms into today’s dependable and efficient equipment. While brake systems vary by make and model, the basic system consists of disc brakes in front and either disk or drum brakes in back. Connected by a series of tubes and hoses, your car’s brakes link to each wheel and to the master cylinder, which supply them with vital brake fluid (a hydraulic fluid).
Your vehicle’s braking equipment can be separated into two categories, Hydraulics and Friction Material:
Master Cylinder: The master cylinder is like a pressure converter. When you press down on the brake pedal (physical pressure), the master cylinder converts this to hydraulic pressure, and brake fluid moves into the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses: Brake lines hoses deliver pressurized brake fluid to the braking unit(s) at each wheel.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers: Wheel Cylinders, surrounded by two rubber-sealed pistons, connect the piston with the brake shoe. Push the brakes and the pistons stop and the shoes pushes into the drum. Calipers squeeze the brake pads onto the rotor in order to stop your car. Both components apply pressure to friction materials.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes: A disc brake uses fluid (released by the master cylinder) 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 friction material bonded to it.
How It Comes Together:
When you first press on the brake pedal, you are triggering the release of brake fluid into the system of tubes and hoses, which travel to the braking unit at each wheel. Your action actually pushes against a plunger in the master cylinder, releasing fluid. Brake fluid can’t be compressed. It moves through the network of tubes and hoses in the exact same motion and pressure that initiated it. When it comes to stopping a heavy steel machine at high speed, this consistency is a good thing. The performance of your brakes can be affected when air gets into the fluid; since air can compress, it creates sponginess in the pedal, which disrupts consistency, and results in bad braking efficiency. “Bleeder screws” (located at each wheel cylinder) let our certified technicians remove unwanted air in your system.
Call American Tire and Service at 505-891-8951 to schedule auto repair services in Rio Rancho, Corrales, Bernalillo, and the surrounding Albuquerque area.
How Can We Help You?
4520 Arrowhead Ridge Dr
Rio Rancho, NM 87124
HWY 528 near Ridgecrest
M-F 7:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m.
Sat 7:30 a.m. 3:30 p.m.