Brake Checks

Brakes are essentially hydraulic pressure going through a process which causes friction to stop your car. It does this by pressurising brake fluid along pipes and hoses, which then lead to either disk brake or a drum brake. Did you know 80% of the braking force happens in the front wheels?

Brakes are an extremely important part of any vehicle or machine. Knowing what variations there are and how they work can also be important. PARC Ltd have put together some information to make understanding everything a little easier for you. If you have any questions about car brakes after reading this post, don’t hesitate to call us on 01495 769700.

Disc Brakes Pontypool

Disc brakes contain three main parts, these being: brake pads, calliper and the disk. You normally see them on the back wheels of high performance or large vehicles such as lorries or trucks, as opposed to the front wheels on normal vehicles such as cars.

How they work:

• The disk is squeezed by the brake pads
• Hydraulically force is transmitted
• Friction causes the disk to slow down
• The vehicle slows down or stops

Drum Brakes Pontypool

The biggest difference between disc brakes and drum brakes are simply the disk and the drum! Drum brakes work in the same way as disk brakes which makes it a whole lot easier when it comes to understanding.

The curved brake shoes are forced against the brake drum by hydraulic wheel cylinders when you put your foot down on the brake. This friction then causes the wheels to slow or come to a stop. Many cars have drum brakes on the rear wheels and disc brakes on the front. Drum brakes are however harder to service than disk brakes, this is because they have more parts. They are however less expensive to manufacture as emergency brake mechanisms are easier incorporated.

If you need any sort of brakes repairing, replacing or servicing, PARC Ltd is the place to come to for quality work and value for money. Call us today on 01495 769700.

ABS Brakes Pontypool

ABS (anti-locking braking system) is designed to stop car wheels locking during heavy braking which can lead to skidding and loss of control.

The anti-lock braking system is in place to prevent a vehicles wheels from locking up when the car quickly or harshly brakes. They ensure the driver can stay in control of the vehicle and doesn’t skid across the road, which quite obviously is very dangerous.

The system monitors the wheels rotation speed and if it detects one turning at the wrong speed it can change the pressure of the brake pad. This then brings it back to a similar rotation as the other wheels. Anti-locking brakes repeatedly do this while you’re driving and so you may feel a pull or a pulse while driving.

PARC Motors Pontypool

Hopefully your knowledge on brakes has somewhat improved now and you feel confident with the technology that is saving your life every time you step on that pedal!

For trustworthy advice on brakes or generally maintenance of your vehicle, Monnington motors is only a phone call away on 01495 769700. Or if you are in the Pontypool area, visit our garage to see an experienced mechanic.

Are you concerned about the efficiency of your cars brakes or would like them checked before going on a long journey you should get in touch with Pontypool Accident and Repair Centre and get them inspected as soon as possible. After the inspection we will provide you with a written brake analysis and a quote for any work which is needed.

How Do I Know If My Brakes Are Failing?

My Brakes Are Grinding – when the friction material on brake pads are heavily worn, this will result in a grinding noise as the brake pad has worn down to the metal callipers. This will damage the brake disc at the same time so getting them replaced will be important. Talk to us about brake pad replacements.

Squeaking And Squealing Brakes – there are many reasons why your brakes squeal and squeak. It may indicate the brake calliper has stuck and the brakes pad remains partially applied to the disc but some pads have wear indicators that squeal when worn to let the driver know the brakes need changing.

Pulsating Brakes – If you feel a continuous pulsating from the brake pedal when you apply the brakes, this indicates the brake disc has become warped due to excessive heat or wear. This happens because the brake disc is distorted and no longer provides a perfectly flat surface when the brake pad makes contact.

What Is A Sticky Calliper

Pulling Brakes – if your car pulls to the left or right when you apply the brakes this usually means a sticking hydraulic or mechanical component such as a seized or sticking calliper.

Spongy Brakes – the brake pedal feels spongy and the brakes seem unresponsive. This is a sign that air has entered the brakes lines and is preventing the brake fluid from flowing through the brake system effectively.

Soft Brake Pedal – if the brake pedal is limp and goes all the way down to the floor, this may indicate a serious braking system issue which you should have inspected by us straight away. A brake pedal that is soft and can be applied all the way to the floor usually means the brake fluid is ineffective and needs replacing.

Dashboard Brake Warning Light – if a brake warning light appears on your dashboard either continuously or when you apply the brakes it usually means the brake fluid level is seriously low. This may also indicate a leak in the brake hoses.

High Handbrake Handle – If the handbrake is pulling up higher than normal it possibly needs adjusting. In modern cars, this is usually anything more than 6 to 8 clicks. If the handbrake lever reaches the end of its travel it will fail the MOT automatically.

Brake Fluid – If your brake fluid is over 2 years old it could be losing its effectiveness since it has hygroscopic properties which means it absorbs moisture over time. This affects the properties of the fluid which has negative effects on the cars braking.

Your brake fluid should be changing approximately every two years but check your vehicle manufacturers handbook or talk to us on 01495 769700.

Brake Checks Pontypool

Regular brake checks are a vitally important part of your vehicle’s maintenance plan. The brake checks can identify a problem before it begins to impact on your braking efficiency, thus providing an opportunity to restore the effectiveness of your vehicle’s braking system to its intended operating performance. At PARC we appreciate the importance of regular inspection and maintenance of your brakes can be to ensure your brakes continue to work effectively.

When Should You Replace Your Brakes?

Different driving styles have a serious effect on how often your brakes need servicing. A set of brake pads could last anything up to 60,000 miles or more on a car driven mostly up and down the motorway. However, the brakes on the same car driven in busy city centre traffic may last only 25,000 miles or possibly even less.

Front brakes normally wear out before rear brakes because they handle a higher percentage of the braking load, especially on front-wheel drive cars. It is often recommended that brake pads should be replaced if the pad friction material has worn down to a thickness of 3 millimetres. Brake disc thickness should be measured if they are at or below the manufacturer’s safe minimum thickness specification they should be replaced.

Brake Checks Near Me

Whether you need vehicle repairs, a full service, MOT test or car recovery, our friendly team can meet all of your requirements. We are proud to be Which? Trusted Traders, so you will always receive the best service! Our fully qualified technicians have years of experience in their areas of expertise, and we use modern, state of the art equipment and tools.

The wheels on your car are perhaps one of the most important parts of the vehicle, especially where your road safety is concerned. So, conducting regular wheel and tyre checks is crucial to maintaining your car and ensuring everyone inside is in a safe and legal vehicle.

Why Is Tyre Safety So Important?

Your wheels, or tyres, are critical in several important car functions. This includes: the brakes, the suspension, the surface grip and the speed. Good tyres (correct pressure, correct alignment and correct tread-depth) will allow your car to perform properly, reach speeds safely, brake safely and can even help your car be more fuel efficient.

Tyre Checks In Ponypool

It is recommended you check your tyres at least once a month, but perhaps more during the good old British bad weather. It is also wise to check your tyres before going on any long journeys – as you will want your car to be in peak performance if you plan on driving for more than 2-3 hours in a row.

MOTs In Ponypool

During the MOT test, your wheels and tyres will be checked – but do not just rely on your MOT. Checking your tyres each month could help prevent accidents and could stop any nasty surprises such as a flat tyre. A visual inspection is good, but you should also try and get a feel for how your wheels feels when they are in good health, so that you can identify if something feels wrong.

If you are not confident checking your tyres, then trust a professional to do it. It is always better to be safe, then sorry, especially where car safety is involved.

There are several tyres checks you can do at home – and we will explain them here. These are small, quick checks you can be doing regularly to ensure your car is safe.

Checking Depth Of Tyre Tread

You will often be able to tell if your car’s tread-depth is too low just by looking, as the tracks and dents in the wheel will seem too shallow or maybe even ‘balding’. If your wheel looks smooth and flat – this is a sure sign they need replacing.

Tyre Fitters Pontypool

If you think your wheels might be getting old and near the legal tread-depth limit (but you are not completely sure) then you can do the 20p test. When you insert a 20p coin into the tracks of your tyres and if the ‘border’ of the 20p coin is still visible, then your car needs new tyres. You will want to test each tyre individually, as they can wear-out at different rates.

How To Check Tyre Pressures?

The next thing you will want to check is the pressure of your tyres. Tyre pressure can affect how your vehicle handles and maintaining the right wheel pressure is critical for braking and ensuring you have maximum grip or wheel torque on the road. You will need to do each tyre individually, because the pressure could be less in the back two, or the front two (for example). When checking what inflation pressure to aim for, there should be a guide in your car’s handbook (if you want to be precise) but the main thing to look for at home is a firm wheel. What you do not want are soft tyres that feel deflated.

If you can visit a petrol station – you will be able to check your official pressure using the self-service air pressure pumps available. This is highly recommended as it will give you a much more accurate reading.

How To Check For Punctures?

You will probably know if your tyre has a puncture because it can make handling the car very difficult. Some signs you have a puncture are often felt whilst driving:

If car is pulling in a certain direction
The car wheels feel wobbly
If car is having difficulty steering

If you are unsure though, you can conduct a visual puncture check yourself. To do this you will want to inspect the wheels for any rips or tears, or any items lodged or stuck in the ridges.

Are Illegal Tyres Dangerous?

Yes, there is a reason why cars have a minimum allowance for things like tread-depth. If your cars wheels are not safe, or do not pass their MOT, you will not be allowed to drive your car until they are replaced or fixed.

Last year, over 340,000 tyre tread depths were surveyed across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and it was discovered that more than a quarter of people were driving with illegal tyres. This is dangerous not only for you (the driver) but for people and cars around you too. It is totally your responsibility to ensure your car is safe, so carrying out regular checks is crucial.