Without a shadow of a doubt, brakes are the most important safety component on your vehicle. If you've experienced brakes failure in the past, you definitely won't want to have this unpleasant experience again. You can protect your passengers and yourself by having your brakes inspected for damage and wear twice a year.

Brake System Components That Can Fail

The heart of the vehicle's braking system is the master cylinder. Its function is to hold the brake fluid in cases when it's not being delivered to the brakes via the brake lines. The fluid cannot be delivered in situations where the brake fluid leaks because the brake lines are broken or plugged or the master cylinder is worn, resulting in ruined brake pads.

On the other hand, the brake fluid can break down due to excessive heat or it can become contaminated or dirty because it draws rust, which causes moisture and picks up other debris. The dirty brake fluid can be brown or even black while the clean one is either a bit yellow or clear. The ABS brake systems can be damaged internally by the dirty and old brake fluid.

The combination valve combines a proportioning and metering valve and helps the brake lines connect to the master cylinder. Its purpose is to regulate the pressure on both rear and front wheels, making sure both sets of brakes are applied at the same time. The wheels of your car can lock up due to a malfunctioning combination valve.

Brake pads and shoes can be made of metal, ceramic or other organic materials, while the drums and disc rotors they press against, are made of metal. In order to stop the car, shoes and pads create friction, which results in their gradual wear down over certain period of time, allowing the metal of the cylinders and calipers they are attached to grind against the drums and rotors and damage them as well. There are pads that have a metal strip attached and this same strip sounds a warning whistle when the pad has become too worn. However, this metal strip sounds only when the brakes are not applied and the car is in motion.

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