Your car's brake system is its most critical safety system and you should check it immediately if you suspect any problems. A properly operating brake system helps ensure safe vehicle control and operation under a wide variety of conditions.
When you push the brake pedal, the force generates hydraulic pressure in the master cylinder. This pressure flows through the hydraulic lines and hoses to the wheel cylinders and calipers, forcing the shoes against the drums (drum brakes) and the pads against the rotors (disc brakes). The resulting friction slows the vehicle and is relative to the amount of force applied at the brake pedal.
Brakes are a normal wear item for any car and eventually they're going to need replacement. Avoid letting your brakes get to the "metal-to-metal" point, which usually means accelerating expensive rotor or drum replacement.
Several factors that affect wear include:
The quality of brake lining material
Car pulls to one side during braking
Brake pedal pulsates when you apply the brakes
Brake pedal feels "mushy"
Noise when you step on the brake pedal
Repeatedly need to add brake fluid to the master cylinder
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