How does a car’s braking system work?

Published on : 31 October 20193 min reading time

The braking system of a vehicle is an essential safety element. It is important to understand how it works. In most cases, reducing the throttle is not enough and you must depress the brake pedal. So your vehicle stops like magic, but how does the braking system of a car work? What are the types of braking devices?

Disc brakes

The functioning of a car’s braking system is very ingenious. You can have disc brakes on one side and drum brakes on the other. From now on, most vehicles have a disc brake on both front wheels and some sports cars on all wheels.

Then, the system works like this: by depressing the brake pedal, the device presses 2 pads against the brake disc attached to the rotating wheel. It takes a lot of strength to brake a car.

There are also very high frictions between the pads and the brake disc that heat up and can reach 800°C. As a result, current discs are made of ceramic since this material is more resistant to extremely high temperatures.

Your car also has brake pad wear indicators because friction can wear them down very quickly depending on your driving style. A warning light on the dashboard lights up when the pads reach the surface. The latter are mounted on the outside of the wheels, in the brackets that are visible on the vehicles.

Drum brakes

The drum brakes are located inside the wheels. These are jaws that are pushed from the inside against the drum to stop the car. This is the role of the cylinder located between the brake shoes.

Afterwards, the springs release them when you release the brake pressure. Note that the front wheels are the ones that suffer the most braking since the vehicle slides forward when it slows down.

Disc brakes support more loads than drum brakes. That’s why they’re mounted at the front.

Other elements that play a role in the disc brake system

For disc brakes to work properly, all components must be free of defects, so we have:

– The master cylinder which is the master control of the system. It transmits pressure via the brake fluid to the brake receiving components via the front and rear hydraulic lines.

– The brake fluid that you must replace every 2 years. If it is worn, it can cause the brake system to become unlubricated and premature leaks can occur. Without this fluid, your braking system will not work. It can also cause carburetor malfunction due to the absence of gasoline or diesel fuel or a high humidity level. This will make it difficult for your vehicle to start.

– The rubber hoses that connect the rigid pipes to the brake calipers. Check them at each inspection visit.

What is a brake caliper?
3 tips to detect signs of brake wear

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