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Brake System Service

When it comes to preventive maintenance and car care, most Des Moines drivers know how vital it is to check their brakes. Brakes are more than just brake pads and shoes. There are a lot of components in the brake system, and they all need to be in good working order. No matter what type of car, van, or truck you drive, brake services and maintenance are a must-do.

It is crucial you get to your destination worry and accident-free. We make sure this is the goal of the safety our services provide. The friction and heat required to stop your car can wear down brake parts, causing you to worry and stress. Our staff provides safety inspections, checks for potential hazards, and suggests services or brake repairs necessary for your safety.

The pads and shoes are known as the friction materials in the brake system. They push together, providing friction, which stops the vehicle. It’s no wonder they have to be checked regularly for wear, and that brake pads and shoes need to be replaced periodically.

Your braking system also has mechanical parts. These pistons and springs can also gradually wear out or get gummed up by oil, dirt and other road spatter. A brake inspection at All Pro Servicenter includes a check of these parts as well as the pads and shoes. Your honest All Pro Servicenter tech can then advise you of any parts that need cleaning or replacement.

The fluid component to the brake system needs a regular check-up at All Pro Servicenter as well. The brake fluid cools and protects your brake system. Protective additives are gradually depleted by the operation of the brake system, and moisture build-up inside the fluid can diminish its effectiveness. When you have your brakes serviced at All Pro Servicenter, the fluid should be checked and, if needed, replaced, which will clean out water, debris, and dirt.

It is critical to remember that your brake system also includes your tires. No matter how well your brake system is performing, if your tires are worn, you won’t have proper stopping power. Traction is the gripping power of your tires to the roadway. Traction is always better on tires with good tread. Good traction translates to good braking!

This is particularly vital on wet Des Moines roads. A good tire will give you good braking on roads that are wet or dry. Stopping distance increases dramatically when worn tires meet wet roads. Tread on a tire acts to channel away water as your sedan passes over the wet road, thus maintaining contact between the tire’s surface and the road, which maintains traction. But the thinner the tread, the less effective the water channels become, and water can get between the tire and the roadway, reducing friction. A loss of friction means a longer stopping distance and possibly a loss of control.

Basically, the power brake system helps you provide braking power so that you don’t have to do all the work with your brake pedal. The brakes themselves are applied at the wheel using hydraulic pressure. When we step on the brake pedal, we create pressure in the power booster that’s multiplied by the vacuum from the engine. The resulting pressure pushes brake fluid through the master cylinder into tubes and hoses that run to the brake at each wheel.

When there’s a problem, it’s usually a fluid leak somewhere along the line. It could be at a fitting or a hose, or even an internal leak in the master cylinder. A leak gives the pressurized fluid somewhere to go other than to the brakes, so stopping power is hurt. Lose enough fluid and you can’t stop at all. Of course, that’s extremely dangerous.

If you notice any decrease in stopping power or if your pedal seems mushy, you could have a problem. There are some preventive maintenance items for the power brake system that will help them last longer.

Obviously, you’d want to make sure your brake fluid is filled to the recommended level. Low fluid in the master cylinder could indicate a leak or worn brake material. Master cylinder leaks are usually just because it’s worn out but, leaks in the brake lines and connectors can be minimized by replacing the brake fluid from time to time. Brake fluid has additives that protect against corrosion that can damage brake components.

Brake fluid also attracts moisture which can lead to rust – not a good thing for expensive anti-lock brake components. Also, significant amounts of water in the brake fluid can affect stopping power because the water has a much lower boiling point than the brake fluid. In the high-temperature environment of the brake system, the water can vaporize – and steam doesn’t do a very good job of providing hydraulic pressure.

A final word – make sure you use the recommended type of brake fluid. There are several kinds and using the wrong one can lead to brake failure.

We are happy to help!

Need to have your brakes serviced or replaced?

Make an appointment with All Pro Servicenter today.

Brake System Frequently Asked Questions

How do brakes work?

Braking depends on two things: the weight of your sedan and the speed of the vehicle. The heavier the vehicle or the faster the vehicle, the more braking power it requires.

Brake systems vary from vehicle to vehicle. For example, a pickup that is designed for heavy loads has a more powerful braking system than a compact car. Sports cars also have higher-grade braking systems than minivans.

How long do brake pads last?

Brake pads/shoes gradually wear out, so they should be checked periodically. The pads are engineered so that they maintain good braking until they wear too thin to provide adequate friction. At this point, they need to be replaced.

Why are my brakes squeaking?

Physical symptoms like squeals, unusual noises, or more can be a sign of bad breaks. This should be treated right away. If there is no light, but you feel like something is wrong, give us a call.

Why is my brake light on?

Cars can sometimes detect potential issues and show a light on the dashboard to warn you. This should be treated right away with a service inspection to ensure your safety. We will check all brake systems and components.