You depend on your brake system to do when thing - stop your vehicle! There are many components that make up your vehicle's brake system to get that task done. The process of halting your vehicle starts with you, the driver, pressing the brake pedal and ending with the brake pads or brake shoes creating friction at each wheel.
Let's take a closer look at the different components that make up the brake system.
The master cylinder is compromised of two internal cylinders working in tandem. Therefore, if one cylinder fails, you still have some ability to stop. The master cylinder is often located in the engine compartment near the driver underneath the brake fluid reservoir. When the driver depresses the brake pedal, a rod moves into the back of the vacuum power booster. The booster multiples and applies a force on a piston in the master cylinder to pressurize and distribute brake fluid from the brake fluid reservoir to the four wheels. The master cylinder is the heart of the brake system.
The disc brake (or sometimes spelled disk brake) system is mainly comprised of a caliper, rotor, and brake pads. The caliper holds two brake pads on either side of the rotor. When the driver depresses the brake pedal, the caliper squeezes each brake pad against the rotor.
Brake pads are comprised of mainly either semi-metallic or ceramic material. They each have their pros and cons such as noise, durability, heat absorption, and dust left on the wheel. Ask us today which suits you and your vehicle best.
The drum brake system is mainly comprised of a wheel cylinder and brake shoes. The brake shoes are on the inside of the wheel cylinder and are pushed outward onto the wheel cylinder when the driver applies pressure to the brake pedal.
The parking brake, sometimes referred to as the emergency brake or e-brake, is a mechanical brake system separate from the hydraulic brake system. When engaged, it bypasses the hydraulic system by using steel cables and levers to apply friction to the wheels. The parking brake system prevents the vehicle from moving and can only be disengaged when the release is used.
The anti-lock braking system, or ABS, is a supplemental system that engages when the vehicle senses wheel locking. The purpose of the system is to help the driver to regain control of the vehicle and potentially shorten the braking distance. However, under certain circumstances, the stopping distances may not be shortened. The driver will feel the characteristic pulsing feel on the brake pedal when the system is engaged.
A reliable brake system is essential to properly stopping your vehicle.
If you feel grinding or hear squealing, whining, or squeaking, your brakes are telling you they need attention. Bring them in today and let the certified technicians at Autopractor perform a brake inspection.
As soon as one of these symptoms arise, do not wait to bring your vehicle in. You could be compromising your safety or further damaging the brake system.