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Brake Repair - Characteristics and Terms of an Automobile Braking System by Andrew Stratton

Brake Repair - Characteristics and Terms of an Automobile Braking System by
Article Posted: 11/30/2010
Article Views: 174
Articles Written: 5522
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Brake Repair - Characteristics and Terms of an Automobile Braking System

Your car is operated by a number of complex moving parts. Among the most important systems is the ABS, or automobile braking system. Reliable brakes could possibly be the single most important aspect in your safety when operating an automobile. Outlined here are some terms and concepts related to how your brakes operate and function, provided for your convenience for when the time comes that you will need brake repair.

Pedal Feel

The pedal feel can describe your perception of how the pedal is operating in regards to how much fluid it currently has. If the pedal is low or spongy, or if it is being pushed too far to activate your brakes, this can indicate an interior problem that can be addressed through brake repair. The pedal can act as a sort of “dip-stick” utility to analyze the interior of your ABS.


Friction brake systems utilize parts that wear down over time due to excessive use. Pads and shoes, which make up the inner-workings of disc and drum based friction systems, must be replaced from time to time. Be sure to have your car inspected to make sure these parts are in good working condition.


When applied, your brakes sometimes tend to create a sound. This sound can range from harmless squeaks to a dangerous and frightening grinding noise. Some of these sounds can mean that there is a serious problem that could lead to brake failure. It is wise to have these issues investigated immediately and have brake repair performed if necessary.

Peak Force

Peak force is how well your vehicle can decelerate. If the peak force applied by your stopping is greater than the traction of your tires, it can cause your wheels to skid while stopping. Understand the limits and power of your ABS in order to best control it.

Continuous Power Dissipation

This term relates to the distributing of energy throughout the brake. When in use, your ABS rises in temperature due to the high amounts of friction it produces to stop your vehicle. The “continuous power dissipation” refers to the maximum amount of energy that can be dissipated through the ABS without causing it to fail. This value depends on the speed at which your ABS can cool down and recover.


“Fading” is what happens to your brakes over time. As it heats, your ABS becomes less effective, causing a less responsive action on behalf of your ABS. Fading can be avoided by using an updated ABS design that is immune to such effects.


Not to be confused with continuous power dissipation, “powerful” brakes utilize too much energy when a small amount of energy is applied. If you are gently pressing on your pedal but feel a strong reaction, your ABS would be considered “powerful” in relation to systems in its same class. However, this does not make them more effective or useful. In fact, these systems should be used with care, as they can be somewhat unpredictable in comparison to regular models.

We hope that this little bit of insight will allow you to better understand your own ABS. With an extensive knowledge of your own vehicle, you can better apply yourself when speaking to a professional auto-mechanic. This will also help you avoid scams you may have otherwise fallen into headfirst.

When in need of brake repair, Charleston area residents may be faced with many options for automotive service. To find a reliable garage to take your vehicle to, please visit

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