The braking system is critical for the safety of ours, our fellow passengers and other road users, but its regular inspection is often underestimated or limited to the replacement of brake pads and discs.
It is worth remembering to systematically inspect all its elements – pads, brake discs, but also the pump, brake fluid, calipers, cylinders, and flexible hoses.
The brake pads and discs are undoubtedly the two components that wear out the most in the braking system. However, in the context of the proper functioning of the entire system, it is important to control each of its components and, if necessary, replace a given element. During a visit to a mechanic, it often turns out that despite the lack of disturbing signals, some components have worn out and need to be replaced.
Inspection and replacement of brake system components
Checking the braking system should consist of a thorough inspection of all cooperating parts. One of the most important elements are the brake discs and pads. To assess the wear of the discs, first of all, measure their thickness. The minimum safe value is defined by the manufacturer and is usually located on the side edge of the element. If the disc is below the minimum thickness or shows signs of damage – e.g. cracks, scratches or surface deformations, it is an indication that it should be replaced with a new one.
When checking the condition of the brake pads, one should also pay attention to possible damage or cracks in the friction material and corrosion of the back plate. The mechanic should also carefully measure the thickness of the friction material. In most cases, the pads are equipped with wear sensors – if the minimum thickness of the pad is reached, you should be informed by the lighting of the appropriate indicator in the instrument cluster. In the case of pads without wear sensors, it is assumed that the cladding thickness of less than 2 mm qualifies the pads for their immediate replacement.
An equally important element of the braking system is the brake fluid, whose primary task is to transfer the force from the brake pedal to the brake pads, at the same time determining the braking distance. The weakening effectiveness of the brakes as they warm up is a symptom that may indicate the consumption of fluid – over time, the hygroscopic mixture begins to take on water, which evaporates under the influence of sudden braking, and the system loses its reliability. If, when checking the brake fluid, it is found that the amount of water exceeds 3% or the boiling point is lower than the minimum boiling point specified for the type of brake fluid, it is a sign that it must be replaced immediately.
In the context of brake fluid, also the pipes and hoses with connections should be checked for leaks and leaks and possible damage. They are responsible for the correct flow of fluid from the pump to the pistons. The service life of flexible hoses depends largely on their operation and the loads they are subjected to, but it is recommended to replace them at least every 5 years.
And let’s not forget about checking the brake calipers. After removing the wheel, the mechanic should pay attention to possible corrosion or damage. Piston seals, guides and dust covers should also be assessed.
The role of mechanics and reliable spare parts
Qualitative and reliable control of the braking system can reveal any irregularities in time, and thus protect us against potentially dangerous situations on the road. In this case, it is worth trusting professional workshops with qualified mechanics who will professionally assess the condition of the braking system and propose the use of adequate spare parts. Such a guarantee is provided by independent workshops associated with the ZF [pro] Tech concept, which, thanks to their knowledge and technical training directly from the manufacturer of brake systems, are characterized by the highest quality of services provided.
If you recommend replacing parts, also pay attention to their quality. TRW brand products – an expert in the field of braking systems, not only guarantee reliability and the use of the latest technologies, but also ensure that individual components are subjected to rigorous durability tests.
TRW is not only flagship products, but also a whole range of components that affect the proper functioning of the braking system – brake pad wear sensors; durable brake pumps made of various materials, a wide range of brake fluids ensuring the appropriate boiling point, effectively protecting against corrosion and protecting rubber components.