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Most of us are so accustomed to how automotive brake systems work that we take them for granted. When you press the brake pedal, your car should slow down and stop. What’s more, it should do that in a normal amount of time. Of course, braking time varies on a number of factors, including vehicle weight, road conditions, speed and more, but drivers can usually estimate the amount of time needed for their car. If it seems to be taking longer than normal to stop, there may be a problem with the system.
Your brake system works on a relatively simple principle, although it requires a significant number of components in order to do its job. Fluid pressure and friction are the two primary factors here. Fluid pressure is created by the booster and master cylinder.
Pressurized brake fluid is then sent through your brake lines to the caliper, which squeezes the rotor between two brake pads – an inner pad and an outer pad. This creates friction. The material used in brake pad manufacturer is specially designed to withstand the high heat and pressure created.
However, pads and rotors do wear out over time. Additionally, significant heat can create problems like “brake fade”, which can result in longer stopping distances.
Worn Brake Pads: The most common cause of a car taking longer than normal to stop is simple brake wear. If it has been some time since your pads were changed and your rotors resurfaced, it might be a wise decision to have that service done now.
Brake Fade: Brake fade is noticeable in many situations, but the best example is driving down a curving mountain road that’s descending. You’re generally forced to keep your foot on the pedal and “ride” your brakes. This creates immense amounts of heat that affect the pads and rotors, resulting in reduced braking performance and longer stopping times. Brake fade is generally a temporary condition. When the pads and rotors cool, they should be back to almost normal.
Low Fluid Level: Your brakes work on hydraulic pressure. This means that fluid is required for them to operate. If the fluid is low, you’ll notice that it takes you longer to stop than normal. If the fluid level gets too low, the brakes won’t work at all.
Stuck Caliper: In order for your brakes to slow and stop your car normally, both front calipers need to be in good working condition. If your car takes longer than normal to stop, it could mean that one of the calipers is seized or not sliding on the slide pins correctly.
A top-rated mobile mechanic will come to your home or office to inspect your car’s brake system, including the condition of the pads and rotors, the level of the fluid and more. The mechanic will then provide a detailed inspection report that includes the scope and cost of the necessary repairs.
Our mechanic will need to inspect the entire brake system, starting with the pads and rotors. The condition of the pads, rotors and calipers will be noted, and the mechanic will also inspect the master cylinder and the level of the brake fluid in the system.
If your car is taking longer to stop than usual, it’s not a good sign. While it might be temporary brake fade due to high heat and riding your brakes, it may be a sign of a deeper problem. You should have your brakes regularly inspected during all basic maintenance (such as oil changes) and keep an eye on the condition of the system. If you’re experiencing any unusual brake performance, our professional mechanics can have the problem diagnosed and repaired in no time.