Brakes: What are they?

Your brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. Reliable stopping power is crucial for safe driving, so it’s never worth taking chances on how they are cared for. From brake pads to calipers, rotors, drums, and shoes, Halterman’s Toyota service technicians will ensure every part of your braking system is working properly and will repair any issues they detect during an inspection the right way so the quality of your brakes lasts. Knowing a little bit about brakes is key to making sure you have the knowledge to remain safe in your vehicle.

Brake replacement and Safety at Halterman's Toyota of East Stroudsburg | Service Technician Working on Brakes on Vehicle

Types of Breaks

Brakes come in four main types. Knowing the different types will help you understand what you are looking at. There are two types of service brakes (the ones that stop your car) and then almost all vehicles also have an emergency brake and anti-lock brakes.

Disc Brakes:

This type of brake consists of a brake rotor which is attached directly to the wheel. Pressure from the master cylinder causes a caliper to squeeze the brake pads on either side of the rotor causing friction. This then causes the vehicle to decrease speed and stop.

Drum Brakes:

This type of brake has a drum attached to the inside of the wheel and when the brake pedal is pushed it causes pressure that pushes two brake shoes against the brake drum. Again, fiction is created and the vehicle slows to a stop.

Emergency Brakes:

This break is also known as a parking brake. It is a secondary brake that is independent from the service brake. Coming in many different forms (a stick between the seats, a third pedal, a push button, or a handle near the steering wheel, etc.) almost all of them are powered cables which apply pressure to the wheels. Their general use is to keep a vehicle stationary but in an emergency (hence the name) can be used if the service brakes fail.

Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS):

This type of break is found on most newer vehicles. If the service brakes are applied suddenly, ABS stops the wheel from locking up. This will also keep the tires from skidding. Most of the time, ABS is most beneficial on wet and slippery roads.

Brake Maintenance

In order to keep your Toyota in tip top shape, some general brake maintenance should be part of your normal car upkeep.

#1: Check Brake Pads and Rotors

The brake pads and rotors are where the braking system and your tires come in contact. This is how the car slows to a stop. Friction, which is key in stopping your Toyota, will cause these to deteriorate over time. It is important to watch and check these frequently. If you notice that you need to depress the brake pedal further, smell a burning odor when you press the brake pedal, or the distance it takes to stop has increased drastically, it is time to get service on your brakes. Make sure to let your service team, like the one at Halterman’s Toyota, know what is going on.

#2: Flush Your Brake Fluid:

Brake fluid is the “messenger” between you and your car’s braking system. It helps build the pressure in order for your vehicle to stop. It should be checked and changed every 25,000 miles.

#3: Bleed the Brake Line:

When you complete the flush of your brake fluid, it is also important to bleed the brake line of any excess air. Air in the brake line can cause the braking system to be less effective or fail. A trusted service team, like the one at Halterman’s Toyota, will do this when they flush your brake fluid. On average, this should be done every two to three years.

#4: Replace or Upgrade Brake Parts:

When completing your maintenance or when you are replacing parts of your braking system, ask your dealer about other parts that may need to be updated. This will improve the longevity and performance of your Toyota’s braking system.

#5: Braking System Care:

One of the most effective ways to ensure the performance of your brakes is to look after them. Some common driving tasks can contribute to brake system breakdown. This includes things like carrying too much weight, unnecessary, late, or heavy braking, and wet weather. Though these items are completely unavoidable, keeping an eye on the damage these things do to your Toyota will make sure you have a reliable braking system.

Brake Replacement

How do you know when it is time to replace your brakes or some of the parts in your brake system? Well, here are some common warning signs to be on the lookout for. If you experience any of these, take your Toyota to your local trusted dealer, like Halterman’s Toyota, to handle the problem before it is too late.

  1. Squeaking or squealing coming from the brakes
  2. Grinding sound when braking
  3. Vibration when braking
  4. Brake Pad Indicator Light comes on*
  5. Your brake pads appear to be thin

*On most modern vehicles

If something looks suspicious but you aren’t sure if it’s affecting your drive, get a service professional to take a look. Better safe than sorry!

Brake replacement and Safety at Halterman's Toyota of East Stroudsburg | Service Technician Using Screwdriver to Work on Brakes on Vehicle

Our service team at Halterman’s Toyota provides thorough brake inspections and top-notch service on your vehicle so you’ll have stable brakes and peace of mind whenever you drive.

Schedule a Brake Inspection, Service or Repair at Halterman’s Toyota so you can have total confidence on the roads of East Stroudsburg or wherever your life takes you.

Contact our team at Halterman’s Toyota if you have any questions or need to schedule a service appointment. We hope you found this article helpful!