61 brake system

brake system


By Vukasin Herbez on 2018-07-06 16:20:27

For ages, car enthusiasts have argued what is the most important component of a car. Most of them will claim that the engine is the most important since it provides the power and makes the car run. However, some of them claim that the car‘s most important feature is the brake system. The brakes stop the vehicle in a safe distance and keep them from running into pedestrians and objects. Brakes are the most important safety feature and every motorist must know the basics of car‘s brake system. So, here they are:

1. Drum Brakes

There are two basic types of car brakes drum and disc brakes. The drum brakes are an age-old system which is outdated but still used in some entry-level vehicles. The system consists of a big iron drum (hence the name) which is located behind the wheel. When you press the brake pedal, brake pads inside the drum press the inner surface of the drum creating friction and stopping the vehicle.

The drum brakes are a simple and durable system, however, they are prone to fading after consistent use and they also generate a lot of heat due to big surfaces of the brake drum. That is why they are slowly being replaced by brake discs since the ‘60s. Today, you can find drum brakes on some delivery vehicles and some compact economy models in base trim.

2. Disc Brakes

The disc brakes have been the industry‘s standard for decades now and they are far superior and better system. The most important part is the brake disc located behind the wheel. On the side of the disc is a disc caliper which houses the brake pads. When the driver presses the brake pedal, brake pads press the disc from both sides and provide the stopping power.

The disc brakes proved to be much better than drums since they can endure hard braking without fading and they can provide better stopping distances. In most cars, brake discs are made out of steel and they can be drilled for improved cooling or solid for installation on low-performance cars. In recent years, some high-end manufacturers introduced carbon ceramic discs which are far superior to steel ones in terms of durability and stopping power. The carbon ceramic discs are used in supercars and racing cars and they have even longer lifespan than standard discs. However, once you need to replace the carbon ceramic brakes, they are an extremely costly item to buy.

3. Other brake components

Besides the discs, drums and brake pads there are several important components of the brake system which you should know. When you press the brake pedal, the hydraulic system forces the brake fluid into the master cylinder which then pushes the fluid to brake cylinders located on each wheel. This is how the system generates enough pressure needed to successfully stop the car. The brake fluid is distributed to each wheel through the brake lines a system of steel tubes which connects the brake fluid reservoir, master cylinder and four smaller brake cylinders on each wheel. The fuel lines must be airtight and without any leaks, since the whole system is pressurized and in case of a leak or air pockets inside of it, the brakes will lose their power.

The fuel lines are made of quality steel to make them as durable as possible and prevent them from damage or corrosion since even the slightest hole or a faulty valve will cause brake fluid to leak and brakes to fail which can be extremely dangerous.

Other brake components may include modern electronic systems for monitoring and helping with braking such as ABS, BA, EBD or similar. Those electronic systems constantly monitor the brakes and the braking process and react when the car needs help in stopping at a safe distance.


The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
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