The Importance Of Different Car Brakes And How They Work

Cars have already undergone into many different innovations for the past years. But the thing that never changed are the brake systems. Each automobile unit requires a brake system that stops the car and keeps its passengers in safety. All modern cars today are actually designed with either a drum type or disc type of brake system. But, high-end cars can have more complex brake systems that are in-sink with computers to provide extra comfort and safety.

There are many available brake systems attached to automobiles at present. Here are five different brake systems and how they work to keep you safe and make your driving more comfortable.

Hydraulic Brake

Pipes are the primary component of a hydraulic brake system. It is usually controlled by the hydraulic brake circuit fluid that fills both slave cylinders and master of the brake system.

Image Source: Hydraulic Brake -

Image Source: Hydraulic Brake –

What are slave cylinders and master? These two cylinders basically put pressure on the brake system when the brake pedal is pressed.

As soon as the brake pedal is pressed it pushes off the piston inside the master cylinder causing brake fluid and pressure to flow along its pipe. Once this happens, the piston affects the brake line causing the vehicle to slow down or come to a full stop.

All cars are designed to actually have fluid pressure evenly distributed around its brake systems. They are mostly fitted with the dual hydraulic circuits with two master cylinders working hand-in-hand should one of them fail.

Generally, cars are designed to have front brakes that are stronger and rear brakes that are less powerful. This is because when the car undergoes heavy braking it causes the car’s rear wheels to lock which might eventually lead to a very dangerous skid. Today, modern cars are now equipped with a pressure limiting valve. What it does is that it prevents more movement of the liquid and the hydraulic pressure in rear brakes during heavy braking preventing it from locking.

Some highly-advanced cars even have anti-lock system which senses how your car decelerates and whether wheels of the car are locking in. These types of innovations can apply then subsequently release the brakes, thus preventing those dangerous tire locks.

Hand Brake

Aside from brakes that are attached to wheels, cars are specifically designed to have hand brakes. They provide extra support should the hydraulic brake system fails to completely function. But mostly, hand brakes are dedicated as parking brakes, they secure the lock system of cars when it is put in brake mode.

Image Source: Hand brake -

Image Source: Hand brake –

Hand brakes usually act on two wheels, particularly the rear ones. They press on the brake linings or pads that are found inside drum brakes.

The hand brake system pulls cables that are linked to the hydraulic brakes through levers, pulleys, and guides. Did you notice that there’s a push button attached to the hand brake lever? The purpose of this is to release the ratchet plate on the hand brake which maintains the car’s brake system.

Basically, this mechanism is a car locking device designed to add safety features in cars.

Power Assisted Breaks

Nowadays, vehicles have highly complicated mechanical components that are used to slow down or stop vehicles. Power assisted brakes provide this secondary type of support. It uses a series of complex hydraulic systems that can actually stop vehicles that can possibly weigh several tons.

The secret to this are vacuum boosters that are directly connected to the brake pedal. It multiplies the forces applied by the master cylinder which pumps compressed brake fluid into the brake system attached to the wheel.

Once the force has been multiplied and transferred to the master cylinder the liquid and hydraulic forces make it the brake calipers which eventually causes the disc brakes to push against the rotor of the wheel. This then eventually leads to friction that causes the car to slow down or come to a full stop.

These power assisted brakes mainly work as brake support for hydraulic brakes, especially when the vehicle is too heavy. Once it fails to function, the brakes of the vehicle will still function since the mechanical links are still attached to the master cylinder and the pedal. The only consequence is that the driver must exert extra force on the pedal of the break so as to make the vehicle slow down or stop totally.

Another component of these power-assisted brakes are the inlet manifold and the servo unit. They work hand-in-hand to push the piston inside the master cylinder which then causes the brakes to work fully. These components open and closed to collect outside air adding higher pressure to the diaphragm of the brake enabling the master cylinder piston to be fully pushed forward and cause the car to come to a stop.

This mechanism also takes effect when the driver presses and hold the brakes. The valves remain shut and no amount of air enters the brake system causing the pressure to remain the same. But once it is released by the driver, the pressure drops and the valves reopen in preparation for the next brake attempt.

Disc Brakes

Image Source: Disc Brake -

Image Source: Disc Brake –

Disc brakes are one of the basic and yet most effective brake system available in modern car units today. They come in pairs and are usually located at the front of cars while some have all four disc brakes attached to their wheels. This type of brake system is the one mostly responsible for stopping cars through the use of brake pads that are attached to pistons and calipers of the brake system.

Disc plates are generally attached to the wheel’s hub. These disc plates turn simultaneously with the car wheel as the car is put in motion. The brake works because of a small hydraulic piston attached to the disc plate. When you step on the brakes of your car these hydraulic pistons that release air and brake fluid activate the brake pads.

The brake pads are found clamped on either side of the disc plate which are responsible for causing the car to slow down or come to a full stop. These brake pads actually wear off through time and they need to be replaced to maintain the car’s brake system efficiency.

In actuality, there can be more than just one pair of the pistons in other types of disc brakes, especially when cars are designed with duo-circuit brakes. Also, you can find warning system devices attached to highly-automated cars signaling that the pads are almost worn out and need to be replaced.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are located at the rear of car wheels, unlike the disc brakes. They are designed with a hollow drum that turns simultaneously with the wheel. They have brake shoes that cause friction to the rotating cylinder attached to the wheel. These shoes, once it comes in contact to the inner surface of the drum, causes the car to slow down or stop.

Image Source: Drum Brake -

Image Source: Drum Brake –

Those are the different brake systems that can be found in different vehicles. They may come with the most simple and most complex mechanical components but throughout the ages, their purpose remains the same: to slow down a car or put it to a complete stop.

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