Diagnosing Car Troubles

After I got stranded in a seemingly remote place for a few hours, I realized that I really needed to do my part to learn more about auto repair. I started focusing on my auto skills, and before I knew it, I knew enough to change my own oil and fuel filters. After spending a few weekends tweaking my ride, I was even capable of fixing minor issues on my own--without any help. This blog is all about fixing up your car so that you can enjoy the ride you have always wanted. I know that it has helped me to enjoy the road, and I know that it can help you too.

Oh Deer: Close Calls With Wildlife While On The Road Could Lead To Brake Problems

Automotive Articles

In rural America, it's not uncommon for deer or other wild animals to sprint in front of your car when you're driving down the road. It's always a blessing when the driver can avoid hitting the animal in this situation; however, just because they avoided the collision doesn't mean they're in the clear. Stopping abruptly can damage the brakes of your car, thus putting you in danger of a vehicular accident in the future. If you've recently had a close call with a critter while driving, here is why it may be time to visit a brake specialist.

Pad Imprinting

When you press down on your car's brake pedal, pressurized brake fluid pushes your brake pads against your brake discs. The friction caused by these parts rubbing together both slows your car down and creates heat.

When your car is traveling along at a high speed and you press your brakes suddenly, so much heat can be produced by the friction that some of your brake pads' material actually comes off of the pads and is transferred to the brake discs on your car in patches.  When this happens, the pads no longer have uniformly smooth surfaces to grip as they spin around on the wheels. This condition is known as brake pad imprinting, and it can cause your vehicle's brakes to work less efficiently than they did before pad imprinting occurred. 

If your car's brake pads have imprinted on its brake discs, you'll likely hear a rumbling and feel a slight vibration in your steering wheel when you press on your brake pedal. The longer you drive a car with pad imprinting on the discs, the worse your breaks will get, so prompt attention is necessary.

Brake Pad Fade

Sticking to your car's brake discs isn't the only thing that can happen to your brake pads when they're subjected to intense heat and friction -- they could vaporize, too. Brake pad fade happens when your car's brakes are put under so much stress that the resins in them actually turn into gas. If this gas gets trapped between your car's brake pads and brake discs, it can prevent complete contact between the pads and discs, greatly reducing or completely eliminating the stopping power of your car.

If your car has brake pad fade, your brakes will function again once you've allowed your car to rest and the gasses to dissipate, but they will likely no longer work at optimal performance. Some of the gas that is produced by the vaporized pads can change in chemical composition and stick to your car's brake discs as a glaze. This glaze decreases the amount of friction possible between your brake pads and discs, which will in turn decrease your vehicle's stopping ability.

You'll know your car has brake pad fade if you experienced sudden brake loss shortly after dodging the animal you almost hit and then later regained some stopping control. Your car may also have brake pad fade if the pedal feels firm or tight when pushed down and your brakes are working but not quite as well as they used to work.

If you slammed on the brakes in your car to avoid hitting an animal in the road, you may have prevented a collision, but that doesn't mean that you and your car are out of danger. Slamming on your brakes at high speeds can cause dangerous brake problems and lead to future accidents if not tended to. If you've recently had a near miss with one of nature's creatures, visit your local brake repair specialists and ask them to check your vehicle for pad imprinting and brake pad fade.


23 May 2016