Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Auto Repair: The Safest Way to Maintain a Working Relationship With Your Car

Owning a car is a lot like being in a committed relationship. It has its ups and downs, its highs and lows, and it often takes hard work, dedication, and maintenance to reap the full benefits of being a car owner. The main difference is when something-i.e. a breakdown or malfunction-puts a wedge between a person and their car, they turn to auto repair instead of counseling. One of the main reasons auto mechanics have cars put in their shop is problems with the cars' brakes. These problems have the potential to be catastrophic and cause harm to the driver, the passengers, and other motorists on the roadway. There are several common malfunctions of the brakes that auto mechanics typically see.

The first is worn out brake pads. Brake pads are used to help apply friction to the brake rotor, which in turn stops a vehicle when the brakes are applied, an extremely important job in the vehicle. However, brake pads do not last forever. They tend to thin out and wear away they older they become. This wearing away is caused by many things: excessive stop-and-go traffic, sharply or quickly applying the brakes, or braking frequently at high speeds. Many instances of these can be avoided by changing driving habits. Symptoms of needing the brake pads replaced are squeaking, squealing, or scraping whenever the brakes are applied or low brake fluid.

Another threat to someone's brakes is a brake pedal that sinks to the floor. It is not normal whenever someone applies the brakes for the pedal and their foot to make contact with the floorboards underneath, not even Mario Andretti who is fairly used to making his gas pedal touch the floorboards. This means that the master cylinder may not be holding pressure correctly or there is a leak in the hydraulic system. Both of these malfunctions require immediate auto repair as they could both cause the brakes to fail completely, a situation that no one wants to find themselves in.

A third common threat to the brakes is low brake fluid. The brake fluid level in a vehicle can become depleted for many reasons, one of the most common being worn brake pads. Worn brake pads are a problem in themselves, but coupled with low brake fluid, it's an entire new ballgame. This may also mean a leak in the brake system, which can also cause brake failure. In certain cars, if there is a leak and the fluid becomes too low, a brake light, similar to the check engine light comes on. This light should not be ignored, and the car should be taken to an auto mechanic immediately for a diagnostic work up.

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