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Vehicle Braking System Servicing and Repair

Brake Disc and Pads Servicing Newcastle

Brakes can last for thousand of miles depending on use and regular service. Modern braking systems use hydraulic links to transfer stopping power. The brake pedal is attached the Master Cylinder; a fluid filled hydraulic piston. Braking increases hydraulic brake fluid pressure. The hydraulic brake fluid is a non-compressible liquid so braking pressure is transferred via the brake pipes to the wheels and operates a slave cylinder piston that forces the brake pads against a brake drum or brake disc. The enforced contact between the brake pads and brake drum or brake disc increases friction to slow down or stop the vehicle.

Disc Brake and Drum Brake Systems

Drum Brake Servicing, Repair and replacement Newcastle, Gateshead, North East England

Drum Brakes are usually found on vehicle rear wheels. They are an older system than disc brakes and use two half moon shaped brake shoes that move outwards during use. They apply force against the inside of a brake drum. In contrast, the modern disc brakes have a pair of brake pads mounted either side of a brake disc. Braking pressure operates a slave cylinder. This forces a brake calliper to press the brake pads against the disc to apply the necessary stopping force.

Vehicle Brakes - Brake Servicing and Maintenance

Disc Brake Maintenenace, Repair and Replacement Newcastle and Gateshead

While brakes will operate correctly without the need for replacement for many thousands of miles you should have your braking system inspected and serviced regularly to ensure vehicle safety. At OUR GARAGE this is an automatic part of our routine servicing. Depending upon the Service you require, your Vehicle brake inspection includes:-

  • Correct brake pad movement and level of wear
  • General brake disc condition
  • Brake drum condition
  • Brake calliper operation
  • Wheel cylinder condition
  • Brake pipe Condition
Handbrake Shoe Adjustment on Rover 75

At OUR GARAGE we also inspect:-

Hydraulic Brake Pipe Fitting - Corroded
  • Hydraulic brake pipe fittings and joints for corrosion and leaking
  • Hand brake linkage condition
  • Handbrake function and travel
  • Auxiliary handbrake shoes where appropriate
  • ABS warning light operation

And carry out the following maintenance of your Vehicle braking system:-

  • Top Up Brake and Clutch Fluid Levels or
  • Replace Brake Fluid if necessary
  • Adjust handbrake
  • Lubricate Hand Brake Linkages
  • Clean and remove brake dust and loose corrosion and dirt from drums

Vehicle Steering - Steering System Inspection

Steering Adjustment Service Gateshead

One of the first signs of a potential problem with your Vehicle steering system is uneven tyre wear. The tyre tread is rapidly removed from the inner or outer tyre edge. The tyres will need to be replaced much sooner than necessary until the steering rack is adjusted to bring your wheels into correct alignment.

Other common symptoms of steering alignment problems include:- Vehicle Drift - Your Vehicle tends to pull left or right when travelling in a straight line Modern Power steering and Drive by Wire Systems do not have the same mechanical linkages between the steering column and drive wheels making it difficult to 'feel' how the steering is performing.

Your Vehicle steering inspection can include:-

  • Tyre Condition - inc Spare
  • Correct Tyre Pressure - inc Spare
  • Tyre wear and wheel alignment
  • Steering Condition
  • Steering Rack Gaiter condition
  • Steering Linkages for wear and corrosion

We can also inspect and adjust:-

  • Correct wheel balance, including spare
  • Wheel Bearings for wear - play or noise
  • Power Steering Reservoir Levels and Top Up
  • Correct wheel nut torque to manufacturer's recommendations

Car Suspension - Suspension System Inspection

Suspension Adjustments and Modifications Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

The car suspension needs to maintain contact between the tyres and the road surface and more importantly it maintains friction or road holding. The suspension also needs to isolate or smooth out the variations or bumps in the road surface to maintain passenger comfort whatever the terrain.

Your vehicle has both front and rear suspension units comprising a form of spring and shock absorber. The springs are designed to support the weight of your vehicle and keep the wheels in contact with the road surface at all times. The springs compress then rebound as the vehicle travels over an uneven road surface and help maintain a smooth and comfortable journey. To reduce the tendency for the springs to oscillate back and forth, shock absorbers are incorporated to dampen down the oscillations. A shock absorber tends to act like a piston pumping hydraulic fluid or air back and forth to counter the oscillation of the spring. By reducing bounce they help maintain road-tyre contact and improve vehicle control. Depending upon the Service you require, your Vehicle suspension check will be inspected with the steering system and also includes:-

  • Shock Absorber performance
  • Spring Condition
  • Shock absorbers operation, evidence of Vehicle bush wear
  • Inner and Outer Tie Rod ends
  • Tie Rods
  • Suspension Strut Pivots
  • Suspension Struts
  • Control Arms or Blades
  • Idler arm
  • Pitman arm - Rear Wheel Drive Suspension
  • Rubber Grommets
  • Rubber Bushes
  • Ball Joints
  • Struts
  • Sway Bar
  • Vehicle Additional Suspension Components

Vehicle Timing Belt or Cambelt

The toothed belt connecting the engine crankshaft to the camshaft is known as the Cambelt or Timing belt.

The timing belt synchronizes the camshaft to the crankshaft position ensuring the valves open and close at the correct time in relation to the piston. Some vehicles use a cam chain in place of the belt or a timing gear system instead.

Timing belts must be replaced at a specified manufacturer's interval. The timing belt should also be inspected regularly and replaced immediately if there is any evidence of cracking or fraying cuts or excessive wear.

If the timing belt snaps it will most probably cause serious engine damage. The camshaft stops turning with some of the valves left in the open position. In a Free Running Engine there is enough clearance between a fully open valve and the piston head to avoid serious damage. In an Interference Engine there is no clearance and the engine relies upon accurate timing to keep the valves and piston head separated. With a broken timing belt; the inertia helps the crankshaft to rotate freely forcing the pistons to strike the open valves resulting in damaged valves, pistons, and possibly even damage to the cylinder head.

High compression diesel engines are normally interference engines.

Since Vehicle timing belts are hidden inside the engine they tend to be forgotten when purchasing a used Vehicle .

Generally belts should be replaced every 60,000 miles or less. So, if the vehicle has 40,000 to 80,000 miles then it is important to know if the timing belt has been replaced or needs replacing.

Often it is prudent to replace a combination of items associated with the timing system. Most of the needed Vehicle parts can be obtained as timing kits containing the appropriate timing components; such as:

  • timing belt
  • timing belt tensioners
  • timing belt tensioner idler roller
  • front lower crank shaft seal
  • water pump gasket

Vehicle Clutch Operation

Clutch Servicing, Fitting and Replacement - Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

The clutch disc is, not surprisingly, a disc with each side covered in a high friction material. It is designed to engage with the high-friction surfaces of the pressure plate and flywheel. It is also designed to transmit power to the transmission.

The centre of the clutch disc has a spline pattern that matches splines on the power input shaft of the transmission system.

Engaging the clutch forces the clutch against the flywheel transmitting power from the crankshaft to the transmission shaft.

Disengaging the clutch acts on heavy-duty release springs to isolate the pressure plate so that the disc is no longer pressed against the flywheel.

The pressure plate comprises heavy-duty release springs, a metal pressure ring acting as a high friction surface to interact with the clutch disc, a thrust ring (or thrust fingers) for the release bearing, and release levers.

When the clutch is dis-engaged the clamping force is removed so the clutch disc spins with the flywheel and no power is transmitted.

Clutch failure often occurs when one or more of the high friction surface materials wears out on the disc. Even when the pressure plate is engaged and a clamping force is applied, there is no longer sufficient friction to transmit power without the clutch slipping. Normally the clutch disc and pressure plate are replaced. Replacing a Vehicle Clutch is a major operation and it is sometimes advisable to replace a number of items, often supplied as a Vehicle clutch kit:-

  • clutch disc
  • pressure plate
  • release bearing
  • pilot bearing - bushing (when required)
  • internal slave cylinder (if required)
Vehicle Catalytic Converters
Catalytic Converters Newcastle, Gateshead, Tyne and Wear

Catalytic converters are now fitted to all Vehicle cars registered after 1993. The Catalytic Coverter is designed to remove harmful pollutants from the exhaust gases. Externally it looks like a standard silencer box.

Sensors integrated into the Engine Management System monitor and control the gases entering and leaving the catalytic converter to reduce emissions. Emissions are now a vital part of the MOT and service requirements.

Catalytic Converters become almost useless if the engine is not tuned correctly sending excess fuel or oils into the catalyst. The only solution is to remove and replace the ineffective catalytic converter.

The main exhaust sections to be replaced are:-

Used Cars

If you have just purchased a pre-owned car and not sure about its Service History then it may be prudent to book it in for a routine service and safety check

Secondhand Cars

Let us know that you've just bought a secondhand car when you contact us for a car service.

Try making an independant service and safety check a condition of the sale if you are buying a used car privately.

We are not biased and will help you identify some of the common problems when buying a used car and help you avoid costly car repairs.

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