Archive for October, 2011

Some customers have asked what happens exactly when we carry out one of our Free Brake Checks. Ever happy to oblige we thought we might explain this special offer using a few photos to help.

Firstly we put the vehicle onto one of our hydraulic ramps and have a good look at the underside. Here we are trying to check for any damage or corrosion to brake pipes and hoses. In the picture below you can see that the Century Autocare mechanic is checking the pipes behind the front offside wheel.

The steering is on full lock so that we can get a good photo, even so it’s not that easy to access and it would be impossible for the average motorist to do this for themselves. Some brake pipes are routed through the car in so that inspection is virtually impossible even for ourselves. Obviously we can only check what we can see.

Checking the brake pipes at our St Helens garage

Checking the brake pipes at our St Helens garage

The next step is to remove all the wheels for a visual inspection of the calipers. The picture below shows the wheel removed and the mechanic holding the caliper. This is inspected to ensure that it has not seized and has free operation.

The brake pads are located in the caliper and these are then visually checked for wear.

A Century Autocare mechanic checks the brake calipers

A Century Autocare mechanic checks the brake calipers

These brakes are called disc brakes as the car is braked by the action of the caliper gripping on the disc. Sometimes the disc itself wears and needs replacing. The mechanic below can be seen visually inspecting the disc for signs of wear which might compromise braking.

Some older cars have drum brakes and the principle of braking is slightly different. With drum brakes the wheel and the drum itself have to be removed for a visual check of the braking components.

Checking the discs for wear

Checking the discs for wear

The next stage is to check the level and performance of the brake fluid. Many motorists think that brake fluid in the system will last forever with periodic top ups. Unfortunately this isn’t the case and brake fluid can absorb water over time which in turn can affect braking performance.

To check that your fluid is in good condition our mechanic will use this nifty little metre in the picture below. The terminals of the metre are put into the fluid in the brake reservoir. A green light tells us that the fluid is fine and has not significantly deteriorated.

Century Autocare free brake check 2011

Brake fluid pass reading

Finally, the mechanic will check the operation of the servo and master cylinder which completes the brake check. If any defects are found we then discuss these with the customer.

Century Autocare is an independent garage based in St Helens Merseyside. Brake checks and inspections are carried out free of charge and any brake repairs are undertaken by fully skilled mechanics using approved parts. A brake check  takes about 15 minutes and can normally be conducted without appointment while you wait.

Telephone 01744 753333

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