How to Care for Your Car Brakes

BrakesCar brakes are important and when not working properly, the result can be serious accidents. For peace of mind and safety not just for you but other road users, you should ensure the brakes are well maintained. It is obvious when brakes are not working properly. You will notice the braking distance increase or more effort is required to bring the car to a stop. If you cannot control the car, you better not use it but hire a vehicle for the day from a company such as the Platinum Access Limousines. Your safety is more important than the few extra dollars you will have to spend commuting. How do you take care of the brakes?


Understand the Components

It’s important you know what the brakes are made of. The brake pads, fluid and rotor, brake lines, hoses, dashboard lights and brake lights are some of the components. All these should be working efficiently. The dashboard lights alert you when there is a problem while the brake lights inform other road users that you are slowing down. Understand teach component and best maintenance practices. The brakes should be thoroughly checked once every year. However, it is best to schedule the practice when the tires are rotated.


The Brake Pads

The lifespan of the brake pads will depend on their quality, type of car, usage and how well you maintain them. They are responsible for stopping the wheels from moving. Because of this friction, they are susceptible to wear which reduces their effectiveness. Because you cannot see the pads unless the wheels are removed, it’s important to have a mechanic have a look at them. Nevertheless, there are warning signs such as screeching sounds, the car moving to one side or grinding when braking that you should watch out for.


The Brake Fluid

Brake FluidThis hydraulic fluid is important in absorbing heat from the braking system and water, which can destroy the parts. It also makes it easier to apply the brake pressure. The fluid should be clear in color but when it turns dark or brown, it is time to replace it. It is also important to check its level and if there are leaks. To check the levels and quality, use a dipstick. Always use the specified brand of brake fluid.


Buy Quality Brakes

You will find all sorts of brake pads and accessories. Although some may be cheaper, quality should be a priority. Remember that it is your safety on the line. If you are not sure what to go for, ask a trusted mechanic.  Also, make sure to replace the parts when it’s necessary. Keeping them for too long can have devastating effects. In addition to this, braking tactics will help prolong the parts’ life. For instance, you do not have to apply the brakes when slowing down would have the same effect. Even when you notice the car in front applying the brakes, do not unless it is an emergency or you want to avoid hitting the car, an object or a person.


What You Need to Know about Car Wheel Alignment

wheelsWheel alignment can be defined as the process of adjusting the suspension of a vehicle that connects it to the wheels. Here, the focus is not on the tires, but the angles at which they touch the road. There are several ways to know when your vehicle needs a wheel alignment, and thus avoid unnecessary spending from towing services.  such as irregular tread wear, lack of balance due to the car pulling to either side and when the steering wheel is not at the center, or it is vibrating.


But why is it so important to align your wheels?

Imagine you are driving and the wheels of your vehicle are pointing one direction instead of facing in front. Besides affecting how you steer your car, it can be considered dangerous as far as your safety on the road is concerned. Moreover, the durability of the tires is significantly compromised since uneven wearing is common.


What causes the loss of wheel alignment?

There are several reasons that can make your vehicle lose its wheel alignment. Most of them are common, but some may not be explicit. So, what are these causes?

·         If your car hits the curb

·         If you bump into parking stalls that are made of concrete

·         Driving into potholes

·         The regular wear and tear resulting from advancing age of vehicle parts, such as those made of rubber components. When they start cracking, they tend to lose their elasticity leading to subsequent looseness in ball and socket joints. The process is gradual, and it worsens over time.

The angles of alignment are mostly measured in tenths of degrees. However, inches can also be used. If the situation is not controlled at the earliest point of realization, it can lead to more severe problems, most notably the premature and uneven wear of the tires. Therefore, always seek the services of a professional aligner immediately you notice a malfunction.


When should my next wheel alignment be done?

wheel alignmentYour owner’s manual probably does not talk about wheel alignment? Don’t worry. Typically, this process should be carried out nearly every time you change your oil. In most cases, this should be about after 6,000 miles. However, you do not need to wait until then, especially if you think you drove through many potholes or the roads you traveled had some grave stretches. In this case, don’t hesitate; see an expert as soon as possible. Indeed, the longer you delay, the more your car is getting damaged.



What could be some of the reasons that make it hard to realize looseness?

Ideally, wheel alignment is a complex matter that, however talented you are, it is hard to just look with your eyes and notice without relying on the signs. The best way to be sure is to see a professional dealer who will use technological means to ascertain your suspicion. Until then, you cannot be sure; it could be another problem in your car such as normal tire wear. However, even if there are explicit signs, check wheel alignment whenever you are changing your engine oil. This way, you won’t be taking unnecessary risks.

Basic Care For Your Car Wheels and Tyres

wheel careIt is important to ensure that the wheels of your car stay in the best condition to enhance their efficiency. This is a fundamental way of car maintenance. Indeed, driving with tires that are not roadworthy can be considered both a risky and an illegal act. The rims are easily contaminated by the dust froat your tires do not encounter irregular wear

·         It brings them the brake and the grime on the road. This might be the reason that makes wheel maintenance arguably the hardest part to keep the standards to a high level. This article provides five ways to help you keep your car wheels in the best condition.


1.      Wheel Alignment

When you are driving, it is not easy to tell whether your axles and wheels are aligned the way you would like. It is dangerous to continue using your car when the suspension geometry is erratic because it can make your vehicle readily lose balance. One way to predict that your car needs an alignment is when it hits a solid object like a pothole. Similarly, uneven tire wearing can be the effect of an incorrect alignment. The importance of improving this situation includes:

·         It saves fuel
·         It ensures the best experience in road handling.


2.      Tyre pressure

Tyre pressureOne of the most dangerous factors that lead to tyre wearing is lack of keenness in ensuring that the tyres have adequate pressure. This helps you gain full control of the vehicle. Inadequate pressure leads to premature wearing and damage that cannot be reversed. Ideally, it can drop because of little holes, the escape of air via the components such as the valves, or even an abnormal decrease in the required temperatures. Before setting off on a long journey, always check the pressure of your tyres. It is advisable to do it when the vehicle is cold. Do not forget to check the spare too. The advantages of ensuring correct pressure include:

·         It saves fuel
·         Unrecommended inflation adversely affects the performance and life tyres.


3.      Tyre Rotation

This involves interchanging the positions of the tyres. It helps ensure that all them wear and tear evenly. Even though car manufacturers have significantly differed on how long it should take before this rotation is done, most of them recommend between 8,000 and 10,000km. The types of rotation include 5 tyre, straight, cross rotation and 4 wheel drive.


4.      Tyre Valves

A typical valve is made up of rubber. Therefore, it can easily deteriorate gradually. For this reason, one way of caring for your wheel is by ensuring that whenever you buy a new tyre, replace the old valve. This is because when they crack, air can easily escape; deflating the tyre in the process.

5.      Repair and Replacement

This is the last option you have as a car owner. You should always consult a specialist if you doubt whether your tyres are functioning properly. The expert will conduct a thorough check on both the internal and external structure of your tyres and determine if there is any problem, after which they will fix it.


When Should I Replace the Brake Pads on My Car?

Every car owner knows that car maintenance is very crucial to ensure top performance of their cars. While many mechanical issues often get drivers by surprise, your brake system is one of the things that will give you a signal when there’s a problem. On-going maintenance of your vehicle is the best way to protect your valuable asset and stay safe. You should never ignore or delay your routine brake checkup. Some of the benefits that come with servicing your brakes on a regular basis include saving money, ensuring longevity, and having the peace of mind that you’re safe.

One of the questions car owners ask is, when can they know it’s time to replace the brake pads on their vehicle? As mentioned, you can always tell when there’s a problem on your braking system. Your car’s brake pads play a crucial role in the brake system. The more you drive and use your vehicle the more your brake pads wear. That means the lifespan of your brake pads reduces as you use your vehicle. Here are signs to help you know when to replace your brake pads.

Thin Brake Pads

The first indication that it’s time to replace your brake pads is when they are too thin. If you see that our brake pads are less than a quarter inch visible, it’s time to get new ones. How can you check this out? Well, simply look through the spokes of your vehicle wheel at the location of your current pads, and you’ll see the material pressing against the brake disk. If too thin, replace them.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

What do you feel when you press one of your foot down on the brake pad? Do you feel constant grabbing or some vibrations when applying the brakes? Your brakes pads could be worn and need replacement. It’s also possible that they are warped due to heat and just need re-machining. If they can’t be re-machined, you’ll just have to replace them.

You hear a Clicking or Squealing Noise

In some vehicles, brake pads are kept steady with pins, bolts, or clips while others are fitted using a special holding device. Well, the main purpose of all these devices used is to ensure the pads don’t wobble around. Over time, your brake pads may become loosened and begin to rattle thereby producing a clicking noise. In such cases, you may need to have them tightened. On the other hand, you may hear a faint squealing or scrape sound when your footsteps off the brake pad but disappears when you hit the brakes. In such cases, your pads need replacement since they are worn.

The best way to avoid serious, costly repairs is to fix brake problems as soon as they are identified. When your brake pad wears off, it not only compromises your safety but can cause damage to the wheel bearings, rotors, calipers, and other components in your brake system.