Many common vehicle problems are associated with the brake system. If this essential component of your automobile is a mystery to you, it’s normal for you to worry every time you hear a new noise or feel a new sensation while driving. That’s why Solution Mazda has decided to clarify how your brakes work and how to know when they aren’t working properly, giving you a few helpful hints on how to prevent premature wear and tear along the way.

How automobile brakes work

An automobile’s brake system consists primarily of brake pads, which are mounted on each side of a metallic disc on each wheel. When the brakes are applied, these pads produce friction, which reduces the speed of the vehicle.

The difference in price between the various types of brake pads is due to their hardness: the softer the material, the quieter and more affordable the pads will be; however, they will also have a limited lifespan. High-performance vehicles usually have harder brake pads: they’re noisier when cold and they’re also more expensive, but they offer unparalleled braking performance and a longer useful life. So it’s important to stick to the recommendations of the dealer, who will offer the range of brake parts that are most suitable for your type of vehicle.

Help! My brakes are making a noise!

Most of the time, if you hear squeaking or the sound of scraping metal when you apply the brake pedal, it means that it’s probably time to replace your brake pads. They will need to be replaced numerous times over the course of your vehicle’s lifetime. Avoid waiting until the last minute: allowing your brake pads to become excessively worn can cause premature damage to the discs.

Does it feel like your brake pedal skips? Irregularities in the surface of the disc due to overheating could be the cause: when the brake system is used extensively, excessive heat is released, causing the disc to expand. To avoid having to replace your discs earlier than anticipated, get into the habit of applying the brakes in a quick but effective manner. Similarly, during a long descent, pump the brakes firmly every so often, rather than maintaining constant pressure on the brake pedal. This will allow the discs to ventilate between each application of the brakes, preventing them from overheating.

If the brake pedal suddenly feels soft when you press on it and the brakes don’t seem to respond, you should have your brake system checked right away! Air has probably gotten into the brake line, which prevents the hydraulic system from working properly. Oxygen in the air can lead to corrosion of the brake system components, so this is definitely a problem that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Lastly, if your vehicle pulls to one side when braking, it may be a sign that one of your brake pads is doing more work than the others. This anomaly is usually associated with a sticking caliper due to your failure to have your brakes serviced regularly. The solution? Have your brakes serviced at your Mazda dealership at the recommended intervals to keep your brake system properly adjusted and in optimum working order at all times. Contact Solution Mazda in Châteauguay at 450-692-9600 to find out what maintenance is recommended for your Mazda vehicle, and schedule an appointment with our Service Department today.