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MD State Safety Inspection: Brake System

MD Safety Inspection, Brakes, Disc Brakes, Drum Brakes, Regenerative Braking

MD State Safety Inspection: Brake System

MD Safety Inspection, Brakes, Disc Brakes, Drum Brakes, Regenerative Braking

Maryland requires a safety inspection on all cars registered within the state. Before obtaining an inspection certificate, you must have your vehicle inspected at a licensed vehicle safety inspection station (in Maryland). The MD State Safety Inspection checks numerous automobile components and systems, including drum brakes, disk brakes, and regenerative braking. This blog will explore the basics of brake components, their common issues, and possible repairs. For more information on other automotive systems, see the links for this entire blog series at the end of this blog.

MD State Safety Inspection: Brake System Components

An inspector will check all your vehicle’s brake components during a safety inspection. Excessively worn or damaged parts may cause your vehicle to fail the inspection. Below is a generalized list of the basic components in the different brake systems found on most vehicles. If you are unfamiliar with the type of brakes equipped on your automobile, you can find the information in your owner’s manual.

Drum Brakes

Drum brake systems have been around since the early 1900s. The first designs were completely mechanical, using manual levers. By the mid-1930s, they used hydraulic pressure to operate. Here’s a basic list of the components found in the drum brake system:

  • Master cylinder
  • Brake fluid
  • Wheel cylinders
  • Brake drum
  • Rubber piston cup
  • Dust boot
  • Brake shoes

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes have been around as long as drum brakes, but it took almost fifty years before they were standard equipment in automobiles. Here’s a basic list of the components found in the drum brake system:

  • Master cylinder
  • Brake fluid
  • Brake caliper
  • Pistons
  • Disc or Rotors
  • Brake Pads

Regenerative Brakes

Most hybrid and electric vehicles come equipped with Regenerative brakes. They harness the kinetic energy generated by the moving vehicle and convert it into chemical energy that is stored in the battery. Whenever an electric car is not accelerating, the engine turns into a generator. This generator stores the power made through deceleration instead of wasting it as heat through traditional braking systems. Of course, hybrids and EVs also have a conventional braking system installed as redundant brakes. So, in addition to friction brake components, here’s a basic list of components found in regenerative brakes:

  • Integrated Brake Control System
  • Electro hydraulic wheel brake
  • Electronic sensors
  • Electronic motors
  • Electric battery

Brake System Issues & Repairs

Inspecting and replacing worn brake parts can be a dirty job. If you do not want to tackle it yourself, take your vehicle to a local service station. A qualified service technician can easily diagnose which brake repair service will solve your issue. Common repairs include new brake pads, resurfacing the rotors, and replacing a faulty master cylinder.

Disc Brakes: Worn Brake Pads

Your vehicle’s brake pads are a consumable item and wear down over time. Generally, manufacturers recommend brake inspections every six months. Read your owner’s manual and discuss your specific needs with your service technician. Schedule service as soon as possible if you notice any of the following symptoms.

  • Metal scraping noise while braking
  • Squeaking or chirping sounds when not braking
  • Brake pedal depresses more before engaging
  • Vibrating brake pedal or steering wheel while slowing down or stopping
  • Takes longer to come to a complete stop
  • Illuminated ABS, Parking Brake, Brake Wear, or Traction Control warning light on the dashboard

Brake Fluid Flush & Fill

Brake fluid contains glycol, which is hygroscopic, so be sure to follow the manufacturer’s recommended replacement time interval closely. Old brake fluid can become contaminated, which reduces its performance. Low brake fluid can also cause unsafe conditions. Be aware of the following signs which indicate a brake fluid inspection:

  • Spongy feeling brakes
  • Burning smell when braking hard
  • ABS dash light indicator
  • Brake pedal goes all the way to the floor

Brake Maintenance & Repairs in Maryland

Schedule Your MD State Safety Inspection

Call Eby’s Garage today at (301) 432-5130 or visit our website to make your service appointment. Our trained technicians will inspect, repair, or replace all necessary brake components to ensure your vehicle is ready for the Maryland Safety Inspection.

Previous MD State Safety Inspection Series Blogs

When To Get A Vehicle State Inspection, Boonsboro MD

MD State Safety Inspection: Exhaust System Repair

MD State Safety Inspection: Fuel & Emissions

MD State Safety Inspection: Steering & Stability

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