A Look at the Different Types of Vehicle Brakes

September 4, 2018 10:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The most important safety feature for your vehicle is your brakes. It’s a good idea to increase your brake IQ by learning about the different types of brakes that may be in your vehicle. You will want to keep these brakes in tip-top shape to be able to drive safely along the roads during all four northwestern Indiana seasons. To get the best value from your vehicle, see a brake repair shop in Gary, IN to check the condition of each of these brakes.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are a type of service brake. They are designed to stop a vehicle while it is being driven. Disc brakes have been around since 1953. They consist of a disc brake rotor, which is actually attached to the wheel, and a caliper, which holds the brake pads away from the disc while the car is in motion. When you “step on the brakes,” you are activating the hydraulic pressure from the master cylinder, which causes the caliper to clamp the pads down on both sides of the disc brake rotor. This causes a lot of friction, which in turn causes the vehicle to slow down or stop.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are another type of service brake. These too are designed to stop a vehicle in operation. Drum brakes can be traced to the very beginnings of automotive history. Drum brakes consist of a brake drum attached to the wheel. On the other side, the drum is attached to the wheel cylinder, brake shoes and brake return springs. When you slam the brakes in a northwest Indiana snowstorm, hydraulic pressure causes the wheel cylinder to push the brake shoes against the brake drum, which causes friction between the shoes and the drum. This friction is what slows down the car. When the hydraulic pressure is released, the return springs produce the counter pressure to push the drum away from the brake shoe.

Emergency Brakes

Emergency brakes are also called parking brakes. These brakes are not powered by hydraulics and use cables to apply the brake to the rear wheel. The emergency brake can be found as a stick lever located between the front seats in your vehicle. Sometimes it can be located on the steering column as a button or handle. Other vehicles will have the emergency brake as a pedal located to the left of the floor pedals. Typically you would use the emergency brake when you are parking on a steep hill and want to ensure that your car remains stationary. However, you should remember that you can use this brake in emergency situations in case your service brake system fails.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock brake systems (ABS) are included on most new model cars. These are especially useful for Gary, IN winters. This safety feature will prevent the wheels from locking up when brakes are applied suddenly. The danger of applying sudden brake pressure on a slick road is that the tires will skid and could cause the driver to lose control of the car. ABS works with your service brakes to pulse the brake pressure on and off rapidly if skidding is detected in any of your wheels.

Choose the Right Auto Repair Shop in Gary, IN

To ensure that you are getting the most out of your vehicle brake systems, have a trusted provider of brake repair in Gary, IN check your vehicle. Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. is a longtime auto repair shop in Gary, IN, keeping customers on the road since 2000. Don’t leave the care of your brakes to chance—give us a call today.

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