Common Issues with Hydraulic Brakes

April 9, 2020 Published by Leave your thoughts

The brakes on your vehicle are one of its most important systems, when you consider how crucial it is for you to reliably bring your vehicle to a quick, safe stop. If you’re having problems with your hydraulic brakes, it’s important for you to figure out the source of the issue with your hydraulic brakes in Flagstaff, AZ and make the necessary repairs before you take your vehicle back out on the road for extended periods of time.

Vehicle braking systems use hydraulic force for transferring motion. Brake fluid cannot be compressed, so when pressure is applied to a piston in a cylinder, this reduces the fluid capacity in the area. The brake fluid placed under pressure moves into the other cylinders in the system, and pressure put on that first piston then transfers to the second, with the resulting force moving the second piston. This is generally how most hydraulic brake systems will operate.

When brake fluid is under pressure, it flows into the cylinders and the calipers at every wheel as well. This results in the pistons in each moving and applying the brakes. When the brake pedal is released by the driver, those pistons retract and the fluid can then flow back to the master cylinder reservoir, where it waits until the next time the brakes are applied.

Here’s a quick overview of some common issues that arise with hydraulic brakes in Flagstaff, AZ.

General wear and tear

Brake pads and shoes create friction to accomplish braking. The hydraulic system in the brakes transfers that motion required to apply the brakes. The friction, however, will cause the brake pads and shoes to wear down over time. The more wear and tear the system experiences, the more space gets created, which means it will take additional brake fluid in the system to make up for this extra space. The fluid gets transferred from the master cylinder reservoir and flows out as normal to the wheel cylinders and calipers.

Over time, wear and tear will cause the fluid level to drop in the master cylinder. This means it’s important both to keep an eye on your fluid levels and to make sure you replace brake pads and shoes when they have extensive wear.

Leakage and corrosion

Corrosion is a big enemy of all types of vehicle systems. In the brakes, it can cause some significant damage to the sealing surfaces of the cylinders and result in leakage. Each cylinder contains seals to better hold pressure, and fluid can run past the internal seals if corrosion has already damaged the surface of the cylinder. In such a situation, the cylinder will need to be replaced. If you notice fluid behind the outer wheel cylinder seal, that means the internal seal has failed.

Leaking wheel cylinders are also problematic in that they can allow air to get into the system when the brakes are released. Air, unlike brake fluid, is compressible, and can result in a spongy feeling behind the brake pedal, which means the brake pedal has to move farther before the brakes will be applied.

For more information about common issues with hydraulic brakes in Flagstaff, AZ, contact Maclin Truck & Trailer today.

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