Brakes are the most important safety feature on your vehicle.
It is essential that your brakes are in proper working order at all times. To avoid costly repairs or disastrous brake failure, it's wise to have your brakes checked by a qualified technician annually.
At Hogans, we'll thoroughly inspect your entire brake system, explain any service we might recommend and provide you with a written estimate before we start. It will never cost you more than our estimate and we guarantee every part and service.
Brake System Warning Signs:
Your car pulls to one side when braking.
Your brakes make a grinding noise when braking.
Your brake pedal pulsates up and down when pressed.
Your brake pedal is low, hard, soft or spongy.
Your vehicle loses grip under braking.
Your dashboard warning light is red or amber.
Your brake pedal is low or hard to push.
As soon as you notice any of these symptoms, please contact your Hogans technician to have your brakes checked.
Or send us an email message
We will be happy to explain the various components of your braking system in person. However, for those of you who like to do your research on auto brake repair, we also want to provide you with as much detail on the basic principles of how your brake system works. This way you have a better understanding of what needs to be done and can make informed decisions when your brakes need servicing.
Disc brakes and drum brakes are the two main types of brakes. Most vehicles use disc brakes on the front of the vehicle and drum brakes for the rear wheels. The reasoning behind this is to balance car performance, versus car expense, which will be explained further below.
Drum brakes get their name from how the braking components are housed in a round drum that rotates along with the wheel. When you press the brake pedal, the shoes inside the drum press against the drum, slowing down the wheel. The problem with having the components in a drum is that the heat from the friction is contained and once they are saturated with heat, they lose the ability to halt a vehicle.
Disc Brakes rely on friction to slow down the vehicle as well, however they are not as prone to overheating. The difference is that the components are not stored in a drum. Rather the disc brakes use slim rotors and calipers to halt wheel movement. Disc brakes are exposed to air, so they are not so easy to overheat. Disc brakes are far more expensive than disc drums, which is why auto experts have decided to only put them on the front wheels. This balance of disc brakes on the front, with drum brakes on the back provides ample safety for the majority of your driving conditions, without driving up the initial cost of your vehicle.
Just like visiting your dentist, preventative maintenance on your car can save you time and money on repairs. Relying on strange noises like squeaking, grinding and squealing when you press the brake pedal is a clear sign you need to change your pads and shoes. However, a better alternative is to have your brake shoes and pads inspected annually as that grinding noise may be cause by metal on metal friction. When your brakes pads and brake shoes wear through, expensive components like your brake drums and brake rotors can be damaged, leading to costly rotor and drum replacement.
Brake hardware refers to the various components to keep your brake equipment working properly and in place. Examples of brake hardware for your brake discs include anti-rattle springs, pad-retaining springs, shims, caliper pins, support keys, return springs and retaining screws. With your drums you'll have adjuster springs, adjuster screw assembly, hold down hardware and return hardware.
When you have your brakes serviced, we inspect, tighten and replace any hardware as needed. As you can imagine, it's easy for hardware to loosen up when you travel down a bumpy road, or just through general use. Maintaining these components ensure you get the longest life from expensive braking components.
Brake fluid is a special liquid used to transmit force to the different components of your braking system when you use your brake pedal. Among many other things, brake fluid has to have a high boiling point, and protect against corrosion.
Brake fluid needs to occasionally be bled and flushed to keep your brakes in optimal condition. In a perfect world you should go by your owner's manual, as to when to change your brake fluid. However, as every car is different, and is shaped by how you drive as well as the climate you live in, it's always best to have annual inspections. Our technician might discover a flaw in your brake system that allows foreign particles, or water into your brake fluid. We might also discover leaks which could lead to a loss of brake fluid. It's much more convenient to have that fixed before it becomes a problem when you are on vacation, or driving late at night on a frosty January evening.
The brake hoses and steel lines transmit the brake fluid to various elements of the braking system. Brake hoses and lines need to be checked annually for corrosion and leaks. Salt and moisture from living in Canada can cause these components to rot out. If we catch this damage early, small repairs can be made versus your car needing labour intensive repairs.
Hydraulics means your brakes uses brake fluid to generate pressure in order to force your brake shoes or brake pads against the wheel. If you've ever experienced air in your brake lines, you can relate to how the lack of proper fluid can give you a soft brake pedal. At Hogans Auto Service we will check the levels of brake fluid in your master cylinder reservoir to ensure you have the proper amount. If you are finding you need to add brake fluid frequently, ensure you have a qualified technician check your brake system as soon as possible.
ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) uses wheel sensors to notify the car's computer when the wheel locks during extreme or emergency braking situations. When the wheels lock, the computer releases the brake many times per second which eliminates the need to 'pump the brakes'. This reduces your chances of skidding as well as enabling you to properly steer your vehicle.
Using ABS brakes is simple, just press down on the brake pedal and continue steering your vehicle. You may also experience pulsating in your brake pedal. This is caused by the ABS system applying and releasing pressure to the brakes. You may also hear a humming or groaning noise. If you hear these noises or feel pulsating under normal driving conditions, your car should be checked out by an auto specialist.
If you have ABS braking system problems, a warning light will come on. If your ABS warning light is on, your main braking system is unaffected and you will be able to stop. However, this warning is not something you should take lightly and you should have your brakes serviced as soon as possible.