Roger Kwapich, owner of Smitty's Automotive, is the creator and 15-year host of the nationally syndicated "The C.A.R. Show"  radio program.

5916 W. Sylvania Avenue
(at Holland - Sylvania)
Toledo, OH 43623
Phone: (419) 882 - 4991
M-F: 7am - 6pm
Sat: Closed
[Click for more info and map]

West Toledo 
5750 Jackman Rd.
(Jackman & Alexis)
Toledo, OH 43613
Phone: (419) 478-1309
Toll Free: (888) 273-1307
M-F: 7:00am -6pm
Sat: 8am - 2pm
[Click for more info and map]
Toledo Automobile Repair & Service. We service your Automobile, Auto, Car, Truck, Pick Up, RV, and Motor Home. Toledo Automotive Repair, Maintenance & Service Specialist, Serving Toledo & Northwest Ohio Auto Owners for over 50 Years.

Ohio Automobile Repair & Service, Serving Toledo, Sylvania, Perrysburg, Waterville, Springfield, Oregon, Rossford, Maumee, Ottawa Hills, Holland, Monclova, Lime City, Swanton, and Delta, Ohio Automobile Owners.

Michigan Automobile Repair & Service Service, Serving Adrian, Lambertville, Temperance, Berkey, Bedford, Samaria, Ottawa Lake, Metamora, Riga, Blissfield, Palmyra, Deerfield, Petersburg, Ida and Monroe, Michigan Automobile Owners.
2 convenient locations 

Smitty's Automotive proudly serves the Toledo, Sylvania and surrounding areas in Northwest Ohio
How Do Brakes Work?

The above picture is a diagram of the brake parts behind your wheel for disc brakes. Disc brakes are commonly employed on the front wheels of your car. It may look confusing, but the concept really isn’t. Have you ever taken a look at the brakes on a bicycle? You know, the two rubber clamps that clamp down on the tire to stop it, using good old fashioned friction. The brakes for your car aren’t very much different. 

When you apply the brakes, a thing called a piston presses a brake against the rotor, which is connected to your wheel. This essentially causes the rotor to be squeezed on both sides forcing it to slow down or even stop turning. Mere foot pressure doesn’t have enough pressure to do this (Fred Flintstone would have to had been monstrously strong, not to mention have feet made out of titanium). So, your braking system uses hydraulics to multiply that pressure enough to stop your wheels from turning, even at high speeds.

Drum brakes are not very different—again, the concept of using friction to slow or stop your wheels. But instead of brake pads being squeezed on the rotor, drum brakes are on the inside of the drum and press outward. This type of brake is commonly used on the rear tires of most automobiles. 

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is the fluid inside your braking system’s hydraulics. Without it, the brakes simply won’t work. This is why it’s important that your brake lines (the lines that the fluid runs through) stay intact. If you have a small leak, you will lose braking power and eventually the integrity of the hydraulics. If you have larger leaks, you could lose all pressure entirely and have complete brake failure.

One sign of a leak includes puddles of liquid pooling beneath your car. Actually, this could be caused by any of several of your car’s fluids—most of which are a sign that it should be serviced (or at least checked out). A more predominant sign is your brakes becoming “soft”. If this happens, you should have it looked into right away. 

Brake pads

Your brake pads’ job is friction. Because of this, they have a tendency to wear down and need to be inspected and replaced far more often than any other part in your car’s brake system. There are warning signs when they are going, such as a squealing or grinding noise when you apply the brake pedal. If these are ignored, eventually you could face metal on metal contact, not only making it more difficult for you to stop (especially in wet weather), but also possibly ruining your rotors in the process, causing even more repair expense.

Brake pads usually last several years (depending on your braking habits and terrain, of course), but should be checked at least once a year. 

Warning Signs

There are several warning signs that your brakes going out. 

Having to press the pedal down further. If you have to press down further than normal on the brake pedal, this is usually a sign that your brake pads are worn and in need of replacement.
Brake pedal going soft. This means you’re losing pressure in the hydraulic system. This could be because you have air in your brake lines or you are losing fluid. You should have it looked into immediately.
A squealing when you apply the brakes. Another warning sign that your brake pads are getting low.
A grinding noise when stopping. This could mean that your brake pads are completely gone, causing metal to metal contact. If your brakes start grinding, have them looked at immediately to save yourself further expense.