Brake repair can cost anywhere between $100 to $1,000. Although some repairs are inevitable, there are a few things the vehicle owner can do to service their brakes and prevent major damage later on. By keeping adequate levels of brake fluid and paying close attention to the brakes, you can help ease the shock of some brake repair bills. |
Brake fluid is a hydraulic liquid that transfers power from the pedal to the brakes. If the brake pedal depresses all the way down to the floor, or if it takes longer to “bounce back” after depressing the pedal, there may be a leak in the master cylinder. The reservoir for the brake fluid is located under the hood of the car. It is translucent with a line to indicate a full level. If the liquid falls below this line, it should be refilled, and the system should be checked for any leaks. If the system is noticeably leaky, it is best to not drive the car until it has been serviced by an auto technician, who handles this as one part of brake repair. However, if the problem persists without a noticeable leak, it should be taken to a technician anyway to ensure safe operation of the vehicle. The cap covering the reservoir will indicate which grade of brake fluid the car uses; this is also listed in the owner's manual. There should be some precaution with this task because adding too much fluid can force air into the system and cause more damage. A mechanic can “bleed” the system to add fresh fluids.
Leaks elsewhere in the braking system can cause a hard pedal that does not depress with the normal force. This is usually caused by a leak in the vacuum hose to the brake booster. This can be diagnosed by pumping the brakes with the engine turned off to release any vacuum that is still in the system. With the foot depressed on the brake, start the engine. If the pedal still requires more force, then there is a leak in the hose that should be replaced. Other problems with the brake pedal include a “sticking” pedal, which is usually caused by a build-up of brake fluid or grease on the brake pads. Sometimes the culprit is a bad drum or rotor that needs to be resurfaced. If this is the case, there may be some “chatter” along with a sticking pedal when the brakes are applied. Applying a degreaser to clean the rotors and replacing the pads should fix the problem. However, further investigation is necessary to find the cause of the contamination, such as a a leaky caliper or hose.
The brakes are the single most important safety system in a vehicle. To avoid unsafe driving conditions and expensive repairs, it is important to pay close attention to how the brakes behave. The brake pedal is one of the first indicators of an issue, so pay attention to how it behaves to diagnose any potential issues. Hopefully, there will be no surprises when it is taken to a mechanic for brake repair, especially if the owner is aware of the potential issues and the costs involved.
When their automobiles need brake repair, San Antonio, TX residents should take their vehicles into a shop. To find a qualified automotive maintenance garage near you, please visit http://www.meineke-sanantonio.com/
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