Suspension, Transmission and Brakes Service in Boca
Sway Bars and End Links
The sway is important to the turning and handling ability of the vehicle. When the vehicle is in a turn the sway bar keeps the outside wheel from rising up because it ties one side of the suspension to the other side making it work together rather than against each other. The bar itself is connected to the vehicle by frame bushing and sway bar end links. The end links are similar to ball joints and connect the bar to each sides control arm. When the bushings and end links begin to fail, you will hear a knocking noise over bumps in normal driving conditions. This is not a safety concern, but should be fixed in order to keep the vehicles handling ability intact.
The steering knuckle is the utility part of the suspension. The control arms, struts, tie rods, sway bar, and wheel bearing all come together at the steering knuckle. They rarely fail because the parts connecting to them fail first, however in major accidents it is possible to destroy them.
Struts and shocks are the shock absorbing parts of the suspension. They work off of hydraulics. This allows for smooth compression and retraction, which keeps the vehicle riding smooth when working in conjunction with the spring. When a strut or shock fails it can cause a knocking noise, it can take away from the handling of the vehicle, and it can affect the alignment.
Control arms are often referred to as “A” arms because they are shaped like the letter. Control arms connect the chassis of the vehicle to the Steering knuckle which carries the load of the wheel. The control arms use a ball joint to connect the arm to the knuckle. This allows for the control arms to pivot in unison with the rest of the suspension as the vehicle travels down the road. The control arms are connected to the chassis side with bushings that also allow the arms to pivot. The two main points of failure on control arms are the ball joints and the bushings. When these begin to wear they can affect the alignment and braking ability of the vehicle.
Vehicles with manual transmissions use driver operated clutches and foot pedals. Motorcycles with manual transmissions utilize a hand lever to shift between gears. These tools allow for efficient regulation of torque transfer from the engine to the transmission. The average manual vehicle contains 4-6 forward gears and 1 reverse gear, but this can depend based on the type of vehicle it is. Larger trucks and heavy machinery generally have between 8-25 gears, providing more variety and power. When people refer to their vehicles as a four speed or a five-speed, they are referring to the amount of forward gears in the car’s transmission. Drivers who opt for manual transmissions often prefer to have more control over the way that their vehicles drive, and also enjoy a more fuel efficient ride.
A modern car’s automatic transmission is its most complex mechanical part. It contains many advanced components developed to work together, including hydraulic systems, mechanical systems, computer controls, and electrical systems. This complicated system runs seamlessly and almost entirely unnoticed to the driver. Hydraulic automatic transmissions are the most common type of automatic transmission found in cars. Unlike manual transmissions, there are no gear shifts or clutch pedals in automatic vehicles. Automatic transmissions are marginally less fuel efficient than other transmission styles, but are far easier to operate.
A CVT, or a continuously variable transmission, is also referred to as a single-speed, a one-speed automatic, or a gearless transmission. A CVT is an incredibly simple and efficient system; this is because it consists of very few components. CVT transmissions contain belts, a mechanical pulley, a hydraulically powered pulley, sensors, and microprocessors. The spare structure of the CVT allows it to have a few advantages over other transmission types; the cost is lower and they can be far more fuel efficient. More and more new popular vehicles with CVT transmissions are being offered, causing the percentage of cars out there with CVT transmissions to grow. CVT transmissions do have their downsides as well. They are known to vibrate a lot and to be inordinately noisy. Some even complain of CVTs feeling sluggish when accelerating.
A semi-automatic transmission is essentially a clutch less manual transmission. They are also referred to as paddle-shift gearboxes, as automated manual transmissions, or as flappy-paddle gearboxes. Semi-automatic transmissions mechanically facilitate the shifting of gears, dispensing with the need to press the clutch. Pneumatics, electronic sensors, actuators, and processors and are required to complete the gear shifts within a semi-automatic vehicle. The system that has semi-automatic transmissions use considerably speeds up the shifting process, allowing for smoother and faster shifting.
Contained in the upper brake caliper are two brake pads that have friction surfaces facing the rotor which can be seen behind the tire. When you step on the brake pedal, the caliper clamps down which pushes the brake pads together against the rotor; eventually bringing your vehicle to a complete stop. There are several different types of brake pads that range from extremely soft to aggressive. Typically, aggressive brake pads are used for luxury sports cars or other racing vehicles. The best way to tell that your brakes need replacing is by the sound they will make which is a loud screech. If your brakes need replacing, there’s a chance your rotors will as well.
The rotors on your vehicle look like large metal discs which can be seen behind each tire of your vehicle. The rotors, along with the brakes, work together to decrease the speed of your vehicle when you apply pressure to the brake pedal. Attached to the axel, rotors are typically manufactured from one of many grades of high quality cast iron (the exception being racing vehicles). There are four primary different types of rotors, or “discs,” those being either a one piece disc, floating disc, solid disc, or a ventilated disc. Determining which kind is best for you really all depends on the type of vehicle you drive.
Sensors & Associated Monitoring
The brake system within your vehicle is considered the most battered area since they take a majority of the frictional impact when you step on the brake pedal. A brake pad sensor is a monitoring system that will alert you in the event that your brakes need to be replaced or are malfunctioning. The alert can be seen on the dashboard just like any other warning lights which makes it easy for the driver to monitor. This sensor is also responsible for lighting your brake lights when pressure is applied to the pedal, alerting those behind you that your vehicle is slowing down.
To protect the driver, along with the brake pads and rotors, the anti-lock brake system (ABS) within your vehicle senses the speed along with the rate your vehicle is decelerating to ensure your wheels do not lock up. These systems are constantly being redeveloped with new strategies, but regardless of the new designs being released, the overall goal is to control the pressure that sits at the wheel cylinder. ABS are now required by national law which is why every current passenger car and truck comes with the system installed.
Boca Autohaus in Boca Raton is the go-to for your vehicle’s suspension, transmission and brakes services. Our specialty is European and exotic cars, so you can rest assured that you’re car or truck is in great hands. Call 561-395-5566 today to schedule an appointment.