Owning a Ford F-250 means you have a stylish work truck with a powerful engine and high tow rating without lacking comfort and style in a quiet ride. Of course, if you want to be a responsible owner, you need to understand how your truck works and when it needs maintenance or repairs. This includes your vehicle’s brake system and how to tell if you need new brakes.
The master cylinder is perhaps the most important part of your brakes. Usually found beneath the driver’s seat, this component is actually two separate cylinders within one casing. Each one is responsible for two of your vehicle’s wheels. Though very reliable, they sometimes spring internal leaks that mean you need new brakes. Feeling your brake pedal slowly sink to the floor when you hit it is one method of how to tell if you need new brakes. Luckily, the system is set up so that you can still stop two wheels even if one part of the cylinder has a leak.
Your vehicle’s brake lines are responsible for carrying fluid from the master cylinder to the wheels. The lines consist of mostly seamless steel tubing that isn’t corrosive and contains special fittings at the attachment points. However, in areas that require flexibility, such as within the front wheels, reinforced rubber hosing is used instead. If part of the line requires repair, it is safest to replace the entire line. However, sometimes this isn’t possible and a special splice fitting is used instead. Never use brass compression fittings, which are both illegal and very dangerous.
Disc brakes also require the use of brake pads. The brake pads, which are made of metal and a riveted or bonded lining, attach to the calipers. Brake pads, which do wear out and need to be replaced from time to time, are available in a variety of types, some of which are quieter or longer-lasting than others. Harder linings tend to last longer and work better, but they are also louder. Most technicians try to find a middle-of-the-road option that works well but isn’t as noisy as a hard lining. If you notice your brakes squealing when you stop, it is probably time to change your brake pads.
Although it isn’t the type that needs Ford F-250 Super Duty Oil Filters, your Ford requires brake fluid to work properly. This special oil must meet the Department of Transportation’s standards and are carried through the brake lines to ensure your brakes work properly when you need them to. The fluid has special properties that ensure it can withstand the high temperatures under your hood without boiling. In addition, it can also withstand freezing temperatures without thickening or freezing. Brake fluid levels drop slightly as the brake pads wear down, but if you notice a sudden large drop, you’ll need to have the lines or reservoir checked for a leak.
Unless you are an experienced mechanic, avoid repairing your vehicles brakes on your own. Always ensure the person who works on your trucks is licensed, insured, bonded, and only uses high-quality, professional-grade parts.