The brakes are one of the most important mechanical devices in a car. It enables a vehicle to slow down or stop by means of friction. Because of the crucial role it plays, all car owners should make sure they work properly 100 percent of the time.
Typical brakes consist of disk brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. These components are connected by tubes and hoses which link the brakes at every wheel to the master cylinder. Other components connected to the brake system include the anti-lock system, power brakes, and the parking brakes.
So, how do car brakes work?
When the brake pedal is stepped on, it is pushed against the master cylinder’s plunger. This forces the brake fluids to flow into the braking unit at each wheel. It is important for there to be no bubbles in the brake fluid. Otherwise, the braking efficiency of the pedal is reduced.
Types of car brakes
Being familiar with different types of brakes can help you stay informed when it comes to repairing your brakes. Read on and learn more about the four types of brakes.
- Disk brakes. Disk brakes consist of a brake rotor connected directly to the wheel. The master cylinder releases hydraulic pressure which makes a caliper squeeze the brake pads on either side of the rotor. The caliper holds the brake pads outside the rotor. The vehicle slows down due to the friction between the rotor and the pads.
- Drum brakes. Drum brakes are the type which has a brake drum attached in the inner part of the wheel. When you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic pressure pushes the brake shoes against the drum, creating friction that slows the vehicle.
- Emergency brakes. Emergency brakes are also called parking brakes. They are a secondary braking system that works independently of the other brake types. There are different kinds of emergency brakes but almost all of them mechanically apply pressure to the wheels through cables.
- Anti-lock brakes. Anti-lock brakes are more common with newer vehicles. What anti-lock brakes do is keep the wheels from locking up so the tires don’t end up skidding, especially on slippery or wet roads.
How much are car brakes
When doing maintenance procedures on your vehicle, your brakes are one of the components that should never be taken for granted. Replacing car brakes does not have to be expensive. The cost is usually determined by factors such as the make and the model of the vehicle, what brakes need to be repaired or replaced, the brand and quality of the brake pads and any other expenses required.
How long should car brakes last?
Generally, brake pads do not require replacement until 50,000 miles, although some can last for 70,000 miles. It all depends on driving habits, the environment where the car is used, the materials that make up the brake components, and the hardness of the brake pads. You can tell when your brake pads are wearing out by the following warning signs:
- The brake pad is thinning out.
- The brake pads make a scraping or squealing noise, which is an indication they are running out of grippy material.
- Braking becomes jittery, a sign that the rotors may have deformed.
Pay attention to these red flags to know when it is time to get new brakes. Do a regular inspection and never ignore any weird sounds your car makes. More importantly, do not overlook maintaining your vehicle’s brakes. Be sure to have them properly calibrated not only to avoid costly repairs but ensure your safety on the road.
Car brakes are one of the most significant safety features of both brand new and pre-owned cars. If you wish to purchase your own second-hand vehicle, please feel free to visit The Auto Warehouse for more information.