If you were to take a poll of 100 people, asking them what the most important system in a car is according to different metrics — safety of the passengers; getting passengers from point A to B; keeping passengers comfortable on long trips — you will likely hear many different answers. However, there is arguably one system that accomplishes all three of these systems as it makes a bid for being the most important system in the vehicle: the braking system. 

The fact of the matter is that without the brakes working properly, the car will get to point B and sail right on to points C and D. Meanwhile, not having any confidence in your braking system is a great way to spend the entire car trip on edge and stressed out. Finally, even speed demons who are addicted to the thrill of going faster every time will suddenly fall out of love with their sport (extreme though it is) if they are unable to stop. 

Your Brake System’s Components

Luckily, the car repair professionals at the South Salt Lake Master Muffler are experts at fixing the brakes. Not only do they routinely swap out the damaged, cracked, or worn brake pads, but they are also able to identify the other issues like the squeaking and grinding noises that might happen when you press on the pedal.

Your vehicle’s brakes are like the rest of the car in the microcosm — by using a symphony of moving parts, driver input, fluids, and good old physics, something like an 18-ton semi-truck can go from 80 miles per hour to a complete stop in just a few seconds. This is thanks to the multitude of essential components that make up the brake system. If you suspect something might be wrong with the brakes, the team at Master Muffler’s South Salt Lake car repair center will check these parts first.

  • Brake Pedal: Just like making the car move forward by pressing on the narrow gas pedal, the larger brake pedal is how the driver indicates the car to stop. 
  • Brake Lines: The brake lines are the conduit for the brake fluid to reach the four tires and exert pressure on the cylinders.
  • Disc Brakes: This is the chamber where the brake pads are installed on the front tires.
  • Drum Brakes: Much like the disc brakes, the drums are where the brake pads are installed on the back tires.
  • Master Cylinder: The main component that interacts with the brake pedal and the fluid. It brings all the essential components together and makes sure that the slave cylinder receives instructions from the driver to brake. 
  • Slave Cylinder: The slave cylinder is where the actual act of stopping the car is carried out.

Braking the Car, From Go to Stop

Now that we understand what the braking system is comprised of, as well as what the Master Muffler technicians will be looking for when you bring your vehicle in for car repairs, let’s find out how everything works. If you are traveling at any rate of speed and look ahead to see a traffic jam or a red light you will naturally step on the brakes to slow down. This is how the car adjusts what it’s doing to follow your wishes.

  • By pressing down on the large pedal with your foot, you send a signal to the master cylinder to release brake fluid to the discs at each tire. The brake fluid is housed in a reservoir near the engine and is released through the lines by the pedal.
  • The brake fluid is dispersed throughout the brake lines to each tire’s slave cylinder.
  • As each slave cylinder fills with fluid, the pistons housed in each chamber exert pressure on the brake pads, which are then scrunched up against the moving tire.
  • The brake pads — essentially densely thick sponges covered in lubricant — cause friction on each tire and the inertia causes the tires to slow and the car to stop.
  • The amount of force exerted on the pedal is translated into pressure by the hydraulic fluid, which means that the harder or faster you press on the brakes, the faster the fluid releases to the cylinders, pistons, and brake pads.

There is nothing more important than keeping you and your passengers safe on the road and nothing does that better than a braking system that is working properly. If you fear that the brake pads are wearing thin or that there are issues with your car’s alignment or fluid storage, bring it in for a car repair with our South Salt Lake car repair center. Master Muffler is dedicated to keeping Utah’s roads safe for everyone, starting with you.