Your vehicle’s brakes are not a luxury item. They are one of your most critical safety features. While we focus a lot of time and energy on going, it’s actually more important that we be confident in our stopping ability. Each year in the United States, 5% of car crashes are caused by faulty brakes. This may not seem like a lot until you consider that our country experiences a staggering 5.6 million vehicle accidents annually. Thus, approximately 300,000 wrecks are caused by bad brakes in a given year! What’s more, 38,000 individuals in the US lose their lives in wrecks every year, an average of 12.4 per 100,000 residents, with about 4.4 million more requiring medical treatment for injuries. Worse news for our state, Oregon has seen a significant recent uptick in fatal traffic accidents. The increase in one recent year was 15.3 %, the second-highest jump in traffic accident deaths in the nation! If you were putting off service for your vehicle’s braking system, that no longer sounds like such a good idea, does it? Don’t wait any longer. Bring your auto to Mountain View Imports in Bend, Oregon, for expert brake repair that may save your life or that of someone else.
To understand what can go wrong, let’s first take a quick glance at how your brakes work. When you press the pedal, your car stops using hydraulics and friction. The small force you apply is transferred to the master cylinder containing brake fluid. The fluid is then forced through hoses to the cylinder at each wheel. The additional force placed upon the braking components cause them to contact one another, allowing the car to stop using the friction created between the metal parts. You may wonder what might impede that process and how you will know before your auto reaches the point of brake failure. When brake pads wear, they generate less friction to stop the vehicle. You may hear grinding, squealing, squeaking as your brake. A leaking master cylinder can allow the brake fluid needed for hydraulic force (and stopping ability) to escape. If this happens you may notice a “soft” or spongy feeling when you depress the brake pedal. If the metal brake rotors warp, contact between the pad and rotors as well as the resulting friction is reduced. When the rotors are not evenly thick and smooth, you may sense vibrating, wobbling, or scraping when you brake. If the car pulls to the side during braking, you may need to replace calipers or brake lines. A burning odor may indicate a stuck caliper or an engaged emergency brake. Finally, an illuminated brake light on the dashboard could signal any kind of problem–simple or complex–so have it checked by one of our professionals.
Although it may be tempting to save a few dollars and trip to the shop, ask yourself if putting off brake service is worth losing your life or taking somebody else’s. The answer is simple. NO! If you question your stopping ability or notice a sign of trouble, bring your vehicle promptly to Mountain View Imports in Bend, Oregon, for brake repair.