Things You May Not Know About Your Brakes

Everyone knows what car brakes are. They stop your car when you come to a red light or when a deer runs out in front of you. What more do you need to know? Here are some interesting facts about brakes that might help you take better care of them and your car.

Brake Noise Means Something

Have you ever backed out of a parking space and heard a squeaking noise coming from your brakes? Have you ever come to a stop light and heard a grinding noise? It’s important to pay attention to the noise your car makes. Brake pads come installed with metal tabs. When your brake pads get low and need replacement, these metal tabs will start grinding on your rotors. This is a good indication that it’s time for a brake job. While this is something that the mechanically inclined can do, it’s generally better to find a professional that does brake repair Fairfax VA.

Brakes Get Hot

Did you know that your brakes get hot? Under normal braking conditions like coming to a stop sign or slowing in traffic, brake temperatures run up to 400 degrees. If your brakes are under a heavy load, though, like pulling a heavy trailer or driving downhill, they can reach as high as 1000 degrees. Keep this in mind when you are driving through dry, brushy areas or when working on your car before it has had time to cool down.

Brake Fluid Attracts Water

A property of brake fluid causes it to attract water. This can be problematic if you live in an area that is prone to high rainfall or moisture. As the brake fluid attracts water, it slowly absorbs the moisture. Over time, that added moisture negatively impacts the brake fluid and can lead to corrosion. This corrosion is especially noticeable as rusty rotors and calipers. Brake fluid with water in it also functions less efficiently. That’s why it’s important to change your brake fluid occasionally.

Brakes Work Better When Hot

As noted above, brakes get hot, but that’s what they’re designed for. Brakes work better when they’re hot. What about when they’re cold? Your brakes will still function and will stop you when needed, they just don’t function at peak efficiency. Since cold brakes don’t have as much stopping power as hot brakes, your car becomes more dependent on your tires’ traction.

Knowing these facts about your car’s brakes can help protect you, help you maintain your car efficiently and let you know of some warning signs to watch out for.

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