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Hello Albuquerque, let’s talk about brakes. Braking, as all NM auto owners know, is slowing or stopping your vehicle. As you can imagine, brakes are engineered to work well on a particular vehicle application. For example, you would expect more powerful brakes on a heavy-duty pickup that routinely hauls big loads and pulls trailers, than you would on a compact car. And a Corvette that can go over 180 miles per hour would have much different braking needs than the family mini-van you drive around between Albuquerque, Algodones and Isleta.
But the mechanical aspects of the brakes themselves are just one issue. There’s also the power brake pump and brake fluid. And then there are the tires, which are critical to the effectiveness of the brakes.
Let’s step back. A new minivan or truck rolls off a local Albuquerque showroom floor. It has brand new brakes with brand new brake pads. The brake lines and pump are filled with fresh fluid and are completely clean inside. And the tires are brand new, with full tread. It is ready to go.
Naturally, braking power is at its peak performance. Now the miles start to add up on the minivan. Albuquerque car owners tend to focus on the brake pads. In the automotive business, the pads, and shoes on drum brakes, are called the friction material. That’s because they provide the friction used to stop the vehicle. The pads are designed to be effective throughout their useful life – it’s not until they are worn so thin as to be out of manufacturers’ specs that they lose their ability to stop.
The mechanical parts of the brakes have pistons and springs that get quite a workout while breaking. Over many miles around NM, these wear and get gummed up. They start to lose effectiveness gradually and could even fail – a scary possibility That’s why a regular brake inspection at Dr J’s Auto Clinic is important for your minivan and your family’s safety. At Dr J’s Auto Clinic we can test the operation of the brakes and see if any parts need cleaning or replacing.
That leads us to brake fluid service at Dr J’s Auto Clinic. Some of the critical additives in the fluid that lubricate and clean the minivan fluid system are depleted over time. That and moisture building up in the system reduce the performance of the brake fluid. A brake service at Dr J’s Auto Clinic cleans out deposits, water and dirt. Then the system is filled up with fresh fluid.
The tires are what connect the minivan to the road. Stopping force all comes down to traction. The better the tires grip the road, the quicker you’ll stop.
This is especially important on wet Algodones area freeways and surface streets. Studies have shown that wet stopping distance increases significantly as tires wear down. NM motorists need to understand that they can have brakes that are operating at peak efficiency and yet still be in danger because their tires are worn out.