Brakes are made up of more than just brake pads—it’s actually a complex system that needs to be running smoothly for best performance. Here are all the things mechanics look at during a brake check.


Like many systems in a vehicle, the brake system has a need for fluids to help keep it running smoothly. Over time, that fluid can become compromised by dirt, debris, and other contaminants, which makes it not as effective moving through the system. The fluid can also break down due to excess heat. Clean brake fluid presents as a clear or slightly yellow liquid, so anything darker than that (like brown or black) indicates that it has been contaminated. Continuing to use old, dirty brake fluid can damage the brake system internally over time.

Master Cylinder

Often dubbed the heart of the brakes system, the master cylinder holds the brake fluid when it’s not in use so that it’s ready to go when needed. When this part or the brake lines (what the fluid travels through) are broken/worn, then that fluid might start to escape into areas it shouldn’t be due to leaks. As a result, if your fluid levels become dangerously low, then the fluids cannot be properly used to lubricate the system and the brake pads will become ruined.

Brake Line

As mentioned above, the brakes lines are connected to the master cylinder and transport the fluids to where they need to go. The two parts connect through a combination valve, which combines a metering and proportioning valve, and makes it essential to the flow of fluids through the brake system. The brakes lines then regulates the pressure put on all of the wheels so that all sets of brakes are applied simultaneously. This ensures a smooth and responsive stop.

Brake Pads

Probably one of the most well-known parts of the brakes system and also one of the most important. The brake pads can be made of many materials—ceramic, metal, or organic—and they create friction when pressed down that stops a car. As they naturally wear down over time, you’ll start to notice you have to press the petal more and the stops might not be as quick. Some pads will also have a metal strip attached to it so that when a pad become too worn, it sounds a warning similar to a whistle when the car is in motion and the brakes are not applied.

Give us a call or use our online scheduler to get your brake inspection at Superior Service Center. We’re located in Eagan, MN and Apple Valley, MN.