How Do Modern Car Brakes Work?

Have you ever wondered how car parts or systems work? Do you ever think about how a huge thing such as a car would stop to avoid a disastrous collision? Whether you are driving a car or not, you probably know that the car’s brake system is one of its necessary safety items to maintain to prevent accidents. 

Brakes are one of the intelligent inventions created especially for moving objects, such as vehicles. Just imagine slowing down a speeding car by putting your car out on the road. Luckily, a light push on the car’s brake would now save your feet with the use of science!

So, in this article, we will help you further understand how this system works and how to maintain it for car brake safety purposes. 

How does the brake system work?

One thing you need to know is that your wheels have brakes that are operated by a hydraulic system. The hydraulic system works simply by using pressurized fluids. This system is most commonly used in heavy equipment, like cars, where pressurized fluid acts on every part of a containing vessel where it creates power. 

Not all brakes are similar, though. There are two types of brakes system used in cars: one is the disc brake, and the other is the drum brake. Disc brakes have a brake disc, caliper, and brake pad, while the drum brake system consists of a brake drum and brake shoes. 

Some cars have four-wheel disc brakes, while others have discs for the front wheels and drums on their rears. This is because the momentum relies on the front brakes, thus making it more effective to employ the disc brakes on the front wheels. Modern cars usually have discs in front and drum brakes on their rear. Expensive cars have disc brakes on all four wheels, while old models have drum brakes on all four. 

Now, if you are to push your brake pedal, you are using a force generated by your leg. This force is then amplified by the mechanical leverage and is further multiplied by the brake booster. Afterward, the piston will move into the master cylinder and will squeeze the hydraulic fluid out of the entire braking system.

However, there is a slight variation when it comes to the disc brakes and drum brakes. In disc brakes, the pressurized water is transmitted through the brake lines and all four brakes. As a result, the force creates friction on the car’s brake pads and brake disc rotors, which will then stop your vehicle. On the other hand, in the drum brake, the hydraulic cylinder pushes the brake shoes, which will then create friction to stop a car. 

In stopping a car, the friction creates a lot of heat, approximately 950-degree Fahrenheit, in order to entirely control a speeding vehicle.  With that, braking pads are usually made out of unique materials to withstand such heat. Otherwise, it will be melted at such high temperatures. Some of the special materials used in creating brake pads are ceramics, alloys, and composites. 

How to Properly Maintain Your Brake System?

Maintaining your car will help you save money rather than bringing your vehicle to the repair shop or buying a new one. Plus, keeping your braking system will help you out when your car went to an inspection for roadworthiness. So, below are tips you will be needing with regard to maintaining or taking care of your car’s braking system:

  • Check your brake fluid level every three months. Also, the brake fluid must be replaced every 40 000 miles or every two years. 
  • Aside from checking and replacing your brake fluids, you should also check your brake discs and change them when necessary.  Brake discs may also be altered depending on the environmental condition or on the owner’s driving style. Meanwhile, if you happen to own a sports car, you should change it every 20 000 miles. 
  • One should also inspect the rotors and brake pads in order to ensure an excellent working condition. Replacing the brake pads will be necessary if the brake is worn down.