Learning About Car Systems: Types of Brakes

Braking system

All cars have two rear and two front brakes. Cars made in the 70s or earlier often have drum brakes in both the rear and the front. Later models have disc brakes on all wheels or both disc and drum brakes.

Either way, the two brakes utilise a hydraulic system to cause the car to stop. Vehicles also have anti-lock and emergency brakes.

Having your brakes checked is one of the most important parts of motor repair, seeing as brakes are an essential safety feature in a car. Knowing the kinds of brakes will help you take better care of them. You will also be able to better engage the mechanic during repair. Below are the various kinds.

Disc brakes

These brakes have a rotor that attaches to the wheel. Pressure applied from the master cylinder causes the brake pads to squeeze the sides of the rotor. A caliper controls the pads. The vehicle stops due to the friction between the rotor and the brake pads.

Drum brakes

In this case, the car will have a brake drum attached to the insides of the wheel. As soon as the brake pedals contract, pressure causes the brake shoes to push against the drum. The friction that results brings the car to a stop.

Emergency and anti-lock brakes

These are secondary braking systems that often work independently. Emergency brakes are mechanically powered and keep a parked vehicle stationary. It also stops the vehicle when other brakes fail.

Anti-lock brakes stop the car from skidding by preventing wheels from locking after applying sudden brakes in slippery roads.

Regardless of the type, all brakes work based on friction. They convert the forward momentum of the vehicle to heat, which stops the car or when the car is stationary. They use static friction to keep it that way. If you are not satisfied with how your braking system works, consult a mechanic and consider upgrading the system.