- » Have you found “wet spots” on your driveway and noticed low fluid in your brake fluid reservoir? You may have a slow leak in your hose.
- » Is your brake warning light flashing? NEVER ignore it!
- » Has your brake fluid been changed recently? Dirty brake fluid is a hazard. Always hire a trained technician for this job, which involves brake bleeding tools and equipment to flush out the old fluid and bleed out any air in the system.
- » Do you feel a slow “sinking” feeling when you press your brake pedal? This could be a failing master cylinder.
Trust Vancouver Axle and Frame for your brake maintenance and repair in the Fraser Valley, BC! We work on all types of braking systems, from hydraulic to air to electric and work on vehicles from small passenger cars to heavy-duty commercial trucks and everything in between, including RVs and fifth wheels! Contact us now for a full brake inspection! We’ve been in business for over 50 years, and we do brakes right!
Brakes: Your Vehicle’s Most Important Safety System
Although your brakes have a dual master cylinder to keep your brakes from failing, you should become familiar with the basics of your brake system and heed its warning signs. Protect safety for all: mind your brakes!
The ability to stop safely and swiftly is critical for fleet drivers in medium-duty trucks. Neglecting safety could cost you your business! Protect your livelihood and take care of small problems before they get worse–and infinitely more expensive to fix!
Hydraulic Brakes 101
Hydraulic brakes use the properties of liquid—brake fluid—to transfer the brake pedal movement to the wheels and slow/stop your vehicle.
When you press your brake pedal, you move a piston inside a device called a “master” cylinder. The master cylinder, which is the heart of your brake system, holds your brake fluid. In order for your brakes to function, brake fluid must make a long journey from the master cylinder to your wheel cylinders (sometimes called “slave” cylinders). When you apply your brakes, the piston moves, which sends the brake fluid on its trip through your brake lines (which are rubber hoses and steel tubes), which forces your brake shoes/pads against your brake drums/rotors.
Brake Problems: Common Signs, Symptoms and Causes
When you press the brake, your vehicle slows but doesn’t stop the right way; then it rolls a bit.
- Your brake fluid might be low; check it and fill it as needed.
- You may have a leaky master cylinder; contact us to inspect and, if necessary, replace.
- You may have air in your hydraulic system; we can bleed your system.
- Your brake pads or shoes may be worn; we’ll do the work right and only fix what’s needed!
Your brake pedal feels soft instead of firm.
- You may have a leak in your brake line or hose; contact us to inspect and, if necessary, replace.
- You may have air in your hydraulic system; we’ll bleed it out.
- Your brake fluid may be contaminated with water or you may have used the wrong type of brake fluid for your vehicle; we’ll flush it as necessary.
- Your brake pads or shoes may be worn; we’ll replace any worn parts quickly and affordably.
Your brake pedal vibrates.
- Your brake rotors/drums may be warped; we’ll machine those parts for you or, if we can’t salvage them, we’ll replace your rotors/drums.
- Your wheels or tires may be out of balance; we’ll balance those parts for you.
- Your tires may be worn out; we’ll inspect and, if necessary, replace them for you.
- Your front wheel bearings are either loose or shot; we’ll tighten them up or, if necessary, replace them for you.
Vehicle Size and Hydraulic Brakes
Generally, hydaulic brakes are used on trucks up to 26,000 lbs GVWR (gross vehicle weight requirement). Hydraulic brakes in vehicles of this weight range use technology very similar to that used in smaller passenger vehicles; the main difference is that the larger trucks use larger components to handle heavier weight requirements.
Do you own trucks such as van delivery vehicles with a lot of stop-and-go activity, with drivers who travel at lower speeds? If so, you’re making very practical use of your hydraulic brakes with these applications.
Never overload your vehicle’s hydraulic brakes past their capacity; you’ll wear them out and compromise your stopping performance.
Let Us Place You On A Maintenance Schedule
If you’re a fleet owner, you have limited time to manage the scheduled maintenance for the hydraulic brakes on your vehicles. Contact us now, and we’ll put you into our database for preventative maintenance. We’ll contact us (4) weeks before you’re due for your next brake inspection. Leave the worry to us so you can focus on growing your business!