When you think about it, the list of services your vehicle needs can become quite expensive, or can it? I will tell you one thing the problems that stem from neglect are worse than if you act on them as preventative maintenance. Do you perform services when they’re supposed to be done? Do you not and say you did? Or do you only fix something when it fails? Some consumers don’t even know about some of these regular maintenance services. Some of which we are going to cover in the coming paragraphs.
Why is braking maintenance so important? Seems like a pretty silly question, right? Braking is rather important when driving on roadways anywhere in the world especially in heavily populated areas such as Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts etc. Did you know the braking system is one of the most overlooked maintenance areas on a car? Pretty hard to imagine, right? Take our location for example, Excelerate Performance is one mile off I-95 in Branford, CT. I95 is New England’s pipeline roadway starting in Florida and traveling up the eastern seaboard and the heaviest traveled roads from New York City to Maine. Stopping through Providence, Boston, Portsmouth, Portland and many other major cities and towns along the way it is safe to say you will get caught in a ton of traffic on a daily basis. Have you ever been caught in traffic on I-95? I can tell you if you haven’t you can be driving along at 55-70mph depending on traffic and find yourself coming around a bend in the road and need to come to a screeching halt. Poof! Out of now where, there are nothing but brake lights for miles. Something tells me you’re going to need to stop. But wait, you have been neglecting to put new pads and rotors on the car that the shop told you to replace as soon as possible? And that was a few months ago? This story does not have a good ending as you can imagine.
Calipers, pads, rotors, brake lines, master cylinders, ABS modules, solenoid proportioning valves etc which all work together to create friction to slow the car down. Once you press on the brake pedal, the pedal apply pressure tells the master cylinder how much fluid and pressure to supply to the calipers. The calipers are a sandwiching device that apply pressure to the pads on both sides of the rotor. This pressure pushes the pad against the rotor. All of this creates a lot heat, wear and tear over time. Below is a basic overview of a modern ABS Braking System.
A service though that is a little more controversial these days is having your brake fluid flushed regularly. The reason that this service is so controversial is because some of the major auto manufacturers don’t even list brake fluid flushes on their recommended service interval schedule. How are you supposed to know about a service if the manufacturer doesn’t tell you to? Part in blame on this is the vehicle manufacturers. Often times if you are unsure and trying to be proactive but did you come across an article in your research travels that mentions flushing your brake fluid is “a way to save money when maintaining your car”, and “services you don’t really need”. FALSE! Ill tell you, those statements couldn’t be more inaccurate, it makes me mad just thinking of reading that on someones blog that claims to be an automotive guru! Not good!
For starters many manufacturers do in fact suggest that you regularly flush and replace your brake fluid. Volkswagen suggests that you do it every two years, regardless of miles; Mercedes says that you should do it every 2 years or 20,000 miles, and Subaru says every 3 years or 30,000 miles. Due to the fact that some of the manufacturers do not list the service as maintenance makes you wonder. In addition to the fact that it is part of most maintenance schedules flushing your brake fluid is a crucial part of keep your brakes working properly. Each component works together as a team, when one team member goes down, the rest of the team slowly starts to deteriorate.
Why is a brake flush so important? Unfortunately brake systems are not indestructible. They can fail, its not like you need to be able to stop or anything… Okay now were starting to get sarcastic! That means brake flushes are IMPORTANT. The braking system on modern day vehicles are quite advanced. They use small precision moving parts and made of materials that will not hold up when contaminated. Brake fluid is also corrosive, so over time, this fluid can attract water and grime. Elements such as water, rust, etc can find their way into the braking system naturally. Water ruins components that require the brake fluid for lubrication, water is NOT a lubricant. Remember when I said these are precision parts? Any debris as small as a grain of sand or smaller can tarnish the clearances of the precision fit parts.