2015 Editions Archives - Page 2 of 6 - Brake & Front End
BRAKELIGHT: March 1953

In the 1950s, there were 36,190 people who died in motor vehicle crashes. In 2014, 32,675 people died. While that may not appear to be a dramatic decrease, Americans drove six times the number of miles in 2014 than they did in 1953.  

What To Know About Modern Air Ride Systems

The most important thing to remember about a modern air suspension system is that it has different modes that adapt to the driving conditions and vehicle dynamics. Almost all four-corner systems will lower the ride height at highway speeds to increase fuel economy and improve handling. Some SUVs will increase ride height as requested or in response to increased wheel displacement and wheel slippage at certain speeds. Some systems may open up the valving and even disconnect a sway bar link on some BMW and Jeep models.

air ride service details
BRAKELIGHT: April 1952
How To Prime Twin Tube Shocks And Struts

Light-vehicle twin tube shocks and struts are misdiagnosed as faulty when removed from the box for installation. This is a normal occurrence and the shock will function properly once it has been primed.

Brakelights: Foam Means Fade (June 1961)

Shocks fading on vehicles was a big safety concern before gas charged shocks in the 1970s. On bumpy roads, old shocks would heat up the fluid, causing bubbles to form in the fluid. This would cause the piston to cavitate and the shock to fade. Often, the car would lose control. Sometimes, if the fade was bad enough, the shock would puke fluid out of the top seal. Gas charging of shocks changed this because the fluid was now under pressure, much like an unopened beer can.

BRAKELIGHT: Cartoon Windows (1955)

The going rate for a complete brake job in 1955 was $18.20. Drum brakes of this vintage had limited self-adjustment and required constant attention. This shop building is still there, but it is now a Tiki Bar.

BRAKELIGHT: Reliable Brake Service, St. Louis, MO (Dec. 1965)

Reliable Brake Service in St. Louis, MO, is an institution in the Lindwood Park neighborhood. The two-foot tall letters on the front of the building have stood for more than 50 years and have outlasted two owners. In July 2015, the business was put up for sale due to the partial retirement of the current

Electronic Proportioning Valve: Doing More With Less Hardware

Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) and the HCU are replacing proportioning, combination and other valves to change the braking forces in the front and rear. This is called Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and it can dynamically change the proportioning to take into account if the vehicle is turning or is loaded.

Electric Power Steering Diagnostics

Electric power steering is more energy efficient than hydraulic systems and does not provide assist until it receives driver input, but there are differences in the hydraulic and electric assist that will affect the driver’s and technician’s understanding of the component and its integration into the ESC and self-park system.