Winterize a Car – Brakes / ABS

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 22,937
    Ed Kriston from AAA Mid-Atlantic’s approved auto repair department demonstrates how to winterize a car, including the brakes and ABS.

    Ed Kriston: Hi! I am Ed Kriston from AAA Mid-Atlantic's approved Auto Repair Department. Today's video is going to be on preparing your car for winter. Making sure that it is ready to go and everything is safe and it can get you through the cold times. This morning we are going to talk about disc brakes and actually go all the way through with anti-lock brakes also.

    This is your typical disc brake system, with the rotar, the caliper, the necessary mountings to make sure everything works. Inside here you will have disc brake pads which is right here, that has a braking surface and a metal plate pad. There is the pad is connected to the metal plate, either glued or riveted. And what you will need to make sure? That there is sufficient brake pad enough that you are able to get through the mileage during the winter time. The way this disc brake system works, the caliper is hydraulically operated and it is going to squeeze the brake pads against the rotar and slow the car down and eventually stop it when you need it to. There are several other things that you should look at while you are looking at the brake system, the rubber hoses, that is right here. What you will need to do? Just make sure that it is not cracked or deteriorated on the outside. It is hard for you to check the inside of course because it is inside the hose. But as long as the outside of the hose is in good condition and it is, let's say less than seven years old, you are probably in pretty good shape. There are also some electrical connections on modern cars for any anti-lock brakes which is called as speed sensor. And this is the speed sensor wire. That wire is going to run down behind the rotar where we can't see it from here but it is going to have a speed ring inside the rotar or on the axle that is going to pick up the front rotational speed of the wheels, feed that information back to the computer so that the anti-lock brake system can take and adjust the brakes as necessary to keep from locking them up. On the caliper we will make sure that the caliper slides on most cars are cleaned, well lubricated with a high temperature grease and ready to go for winter.

    Alright, now that we have talked about basically how a disc brake system works. Let's go ahead and put the car down on the ground so we can get into the engine department and see that all of the hydraulic parts and the ABS accelerator and some of the other parts that go along with the brake system. Right here you will find the master cylinder and it is found at the same place on most cars today. It is going to be filled with brake fluid, a hydraulic fluid that is going to operate the brake system. There is a couple of things which you can tell from this spot. First, most of the newer cars it is a see through reservoir, so you will be able to tell what the level is. Now, the couple of things that you can determine from just the level that in the car as the front brakes where the calipers are going to be pushed out because the brake pad has been worn away. And then that is going to cause it to take more brake fluid to fill the backside of the caliper. So this level here is going to drop. So we are unable to see that there is a drop in the fluid here is going to tell you that there is wear on the front brake pads. Depending how much it drops here it can give you a little bit of an idea of how much wear there is on the front brakes. And when you are filling this back up, one of the things that is very important is to make sure that you clear away any dirt off from all around it. And make sure that you take and put it back on tightly. Brake fluids are hygroscopic, in other words they absorb water. So you are going to have times when it is going to be a good time for you to change the brake fluid in your brake system also. The brake flush as you hear referred to by a lot of people is doing nothing more than getting all of the contaminates from out of the brake system. That is getting the pieces of hose from inside, all of the little pieces of rust and scale, and going out through the bleeder valves in each one of the calipers or wheel cylinders whichever your vehicle has. Then just beneath this right straight down here is the ABS accelerator or ABS unit as some people refer to it. It takes inputs from the wheel speed sensors to the ABS computer which controls the accelerator. The accelerator is going to control the braking at each of the wheels bring it right up to the point that it is going to get it, just before the wheel locks which is the most efficient way of braking the car. And of course, when it comes to winter time that is going to be a plus because it is watching the wheels' speeds. So as soon as that wheel locks up, the ABS system is going to back off on the pressure to that wheel to keep it from locking up and possibly throwing you into a skit. And the next segment is going to be on Fuel systems. Let's go ahead and look under the car.