How To Fix a Service Brake System

April 13, 2023

Any mechanic Greenville NC worth their salt knows the brake system is one of the most important safety features of any vehicle. Studies have shown that service brake system failures account for 20 percent of all car accidents in the US, so it’s imperative to keep them in the best condition they can be. When your service brake system light comes on, it’s not just a suggestion that there may be something wrong, it’s a warning. From Pugh’s Tire & Service Centers, auto mechanic Greenville NC, here’s how to fix a brake system.

Brake Fluid Level

One of the most common reasons for the service brake system light to come on is low brake fluid level. To check this, locate the brake fluid reservoir, typically located on the driver's side of the engine compartment. The reservoir is usually a translucent plastic container with a cap that has a small dipstick attached to it. If your car has a metal reservoir, look for a fill line on the side of the reservoir. If the level is low, add brake fluid to the reservoir until it reaches the "maximum" mark. Always use the type of brake fluid specified in your owner's manual. If you’re not sure what type your car will take, our auto mechanic Greenville NC can help during your visit.

Once you've added brake fluid, replace the cap and make sure it is securely tightened. Start the engine and press the brake pedal a few times to make sure the brakes feel firm and responsive. It's important to check the brake fluid level regularly, as low brake fluid can indicate a leak or other problem with your braking system. If you notice that the brake fluid level is consistently low, or if your brakes feel spongy or unresponsive, it's important to have your car inspected by a qualified mechanic like our mechanic Greenville NC.

Inspect The Brake Pads

Worn-out brake pads can also cause the service brake system light to come on. To inspect the brake pads on your car, start by visually inspecting the brake pads through the wheels. Look for the brake pad material through the spaces between the wheel's spokes. You should be able to see the outer brake pad pressed against the metal rotor. If the pad looks thin or worn down, it may be time to replace them. The legal thickness of a brake pad will depend on whether you have a steering or non-steering axle. Next, listen for any unusual brake noise when you apply the brakes. A high-pitched squealing sound or grinding noise can indicate that the brake pads are worn down to the metal and need to be replaced immediately. If you’re unsure about the condition of your brake pads, have them inspected by a qualified mechanic Greenville NC.

Check The Brake System Components

If the brake fluid level and brake pads are fine, the problem could be the brake system components like the brake calipers or the brake lines. Brake calipers are the components that squeeze the brake pads against the rotor, generating the friction needed to slow down or stop the car. They are usually located on each wheel and contain pistons that press the brake pads against the rotor when you apply the brakes. Brake calipers can come in different types, including floating or fixed calipers, and they can be made of different materials, such as aluminum or cast iron.

Brake lines, on the other hand, are the metal or rubber tubes that carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brake calipers or wheel cylinders. They are an essential part of the hydraulic system that allows the brake pedal to actuate the calipers and apply pressure to the brake pads. The brake lines need to be sturdy and flexible to withstand the high pressure and temperature changes that occur during braking. If you notice any issues with either component, like leaks, damage, or wear, you’ll need to replace or repair them.  At Pugh’s Tire & Service Centers, our mechanic Greenville NC can assist you with this.

Pugh’s Tire & Service Centers | Mechanic Greenville NC

The service brake system light is one warning light that should never be ignored. While you could try your hand at patching up your vehicle yourself, it’s always best to leave it to a professional like our mechanic Greenville NC. Regular maintenance of the brake system is essential to ensure the safety of you and your passengers. From brake service Greenville NC to battery care, we’re here to help you get back on the road. To learn more about our services, tires, and team, visit our website today.