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Do I Need New Brakes?

Can you feel your car vibrating when your foot is on the brake pedal? Does your wheel shake while you are coming to a stop? If so, your brakes most likely need to be replaced. When the brakes are repeatedly slammed on in Denver traffic, or when you are stuck riding your brakes all the way down the mountain on I-70 coming home after a weekend of skiing, the brakes are being warped. Factory brakes are not well-designed for use in extreme Colorado circumstances. The manufacturer doesn't expect you to be using your brakes on a 6% grade in bumper to bumper traffic, most cars are not constructed with that intention in mind. 

How brakes work

How brakes work: 

  1. You push the brake pedal
  2. As the pedal goes down, it pushes a class 2 lever which increases your pushing force
  3. The lever pushes a piston (in blue in GIF above) into a thin cylinder filled with hydraulic brake fluid (red). As the piston moves into the cylinder , it squeezes hydraulic fluid out of the other end.
  4. The brake fluid moves down a long, narrow pipe until it reaches another much wider cylinder at the wheel.
  5. When the fluid enters the cylinder, it pushes the piston in the wider cylinder (blue) with greatly increased force.
  6. The piston pushes the brake pad (green) toward the brake disc (gray).
  7. When the brake pad comes in contact with the brake disc, the resulting friction produces heat (the red cloud in the animation).
  8. The friction causes the outer wheel and tire to slow down, stopping the car. These 8 steps happen on all four wheels at once. 

Now that we fully understand how brakes work, let's take a look at what that means for Englewood drivers. When the brake pads come in contact with the brake discs (step 7 in the animation) heat is produced. According to a recent study, the average Denver driver hits their brakes 200 times a day, now that's a lot of friction! The constant heating up of your brakes and rotors is what causes warping. Warping of the brakes causes the shaking that you might feel while coming to a stop in that pesky Denver traffic. When you feel that shaking, you should head on over to Englewood and have the talented technicians at K-Motion check out your brakes. It is imperative for your safety and the safety of other Englewood drivers that the braking system in your vehicle is running smoothly and operating without fail. Continuing to drive with warped brakes can cause other systems in your vehicle to begin to fail, so make sure to bring your car in to K-Motion and we will fix them right up! 


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