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TUNING & BRAKES
The brake system is actually composed of two kinds of systems---Hydraulics and Friction Materials. Here's what happens within these systems between the time your foot hits the brake pedal and your car stops.
When pressure is applied to the brake pedal, the master cylinder creates hydraulic pressure which pushes brake fluid to the wheel brakes.
Brake Lines and Hoses
Steel brake lines and high pressure rubber hoses are the avenues through which the pressurized brake fluid travels.
Wheel Cylinders and Calipers
These are the hydraulic cylinders that apply pressure to the friction materials, causing your car to stop.
Disc Brake Pads and Drum Brake Shoes
These brake linings are composed of high temperature materials that create the friction that stops your car.
Types of Brakes
Disc brakes consist of a Disc Brake Rotor, which is attached to the wheel, and a Caliper, which holds the Disc Brake Pads. Hydraulic pressure from the Master Cylinder causes the Caliper Piston to clamp the Disc Brake Rotor between the Disc Brake Pads. This creates friction between the pads and rotor, causing your car to slow down or stop.
Drum brakes consist of a Brake Drum attached to the wheel, a Wheel Cylinder, Brake Shoes and Brake Return Springs. Hydraulic pressure from the Master Cylinder causes the Wheel Cylinder to press the Brake Shoes against the Brake Drum. This creates friction between the shoes and drum to slow or stop your car.
The Parking Brake uses Cables to mechanically apply the brakes (usually the rear brake.) This is used to prevent the car from rolling when not being driven.
Anti-Lock Brakes: A System Built For Safety
Computer-controlled anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are a recently developed safety feature. When sudden stops are made, the ABS prevents wheel lock-up. The system is comprised of wheel-speed sensors that monitor wheel rotation, computer-controlled hydraulics that pulse the brakes on and off rapidly, and the on-board computer.
Computerized Engine Analysis
Your modern vehicle's engine is a highly sophisticated piece of equipment. The days of your father's gas-guzzler are long gone—instead, Federal Exhaust Emission and Fuel Economy regulations demand that today's vehicles be equipped with electronic engine control systems, to curb carbon emissions and increase fuel efficiency. With technically-advanced control systems taking the place of simple engine components, common maintenance services such as tune-ups are also a thing of the past. Regular services (such as spark plug and filter replacements) are still required, as well as a computerized analysis of your vehicle's control computer. Our factory-trained technicians are here to provide these basic services.
Here's how your modern vehicle's control computer operates:
A network of sensors and switches convert and monitor engine operating conditions into electrical signals. The computer receives this information, and, based on information and instructions coded within this savvy computer program, commands are sent to three different systems: ignition, fuel, and emission control. Whenever a problem arises (as seen by that nagging "check engine" light), our service pros check whatever command is prompted, in addition to the status of your engine control computer and sensors. That way you'll know if your vehicle's performance is caused by a real problem, or just a sensor/computer issue.
Here's a brief overview of your vehicle's sensory components:
Mass airflow sensor
Throttle position sensor
Manifold absolute pressure sensor
Coolant temperature sensor
Exhaust oxygen sensor
Crankshaft position sensor
Camshaft position sensor
WHEELS & SUSPENSION
The primary function of your cars suspension and steering systems is to allow the wheels to move independently of the car, while keeping it "suspended" and stable. Any play or uncontrolled motion in these systems results in a deterioration of handling and accelerated tire wear. Vehicle alignment is closely tied to the condition of the suspension and steering systems.
Worn or loose components affect the ability to control the toe angle, and may result in a loss of directional stability and accelerated tire wear. The main components of a Conventional system are:
1. Steering Gear Box
2. Center Link
3. Pitman Arm
4. Idler Arm
5. Tie Rods
The main components of a Rack and Pinion steering system are:
6. Rack and Pinion Assembly
7. Bellows Boots
8. Tie Rods
Worn or loose components affect the suspension systems ability to control motion and alignment angles, resulting in a deterioration of vehicle handling and stability, and accelerated tire wear. The main components of the suspension system are:
9. Control Arms
10. Ball Joints
11. Springs (Coil or Leaf)
12. Shock Absorbers