What does the brake system consist of and what functions does it perform?
The brake system consists of a hydraulic actuator (brake master cylinder, pressure regulator valve, brake lines) and a brake mechanism. It can be of a drum or a disc type. The former includes a brake drum and shoes, the latter a rotating brake disc (rotor) and fixed pads mounted inside the caliper on both sides. The components of the handbrake are a lever and cables with adjustable ends. The functions of the brake system are to slow down and stop the car, as well as to immobilize it when parked.
What are the signs of a faulty brake system?
Faults in the brake system are indicated by reduced braking performance. It may be accompanied by impaired roadholding, squeaking in the wheel area, or brake fluid leakage. The brake system dashboard warning light goes on. The brake pedal travel increases or it becomes hard to press; you have to apply more force when braking.
How do I check the brake system?
Use a special tester to check the condition of the brake fluid in the expansion tank. It will detect whether it needs to be changed. The fluid level should be between the “min” and “max” marks. The brake pedal should not feel spongy, but should offer resistance when pressed. The brake discs and pads must not be defective or dirty. Measure their thickness and compare it with the value specified by the car manufacturer. Stop the car on a slope of about 20° and apply the handbrake. If it’s working properly, you will hear 3 or 4 clicks, and the vehicle will not roll back. The checking of electronic assistants such as ABS should be entrusted to specialists.