The four main types of car brakes

September 16th, 2020 by

Your car brakes play a critical role in your vehicle’s performance; that’s why it’s so important to ensure that you care for them regularly and when necessary, replace worn-out components. However, you’ll probably feel a lot more comfortable entrusting our Orlando Toyota service center to do both if you know what’s going on under the hood. We sat down with our top service experts to create a basic guide to the main types of car brakes – check it out.

What are the main types of car brakes?

1) Disc brakes

You’ll find this type of car brakes on most modern cars. This type of system uses brake pads, rotors, calipers, and hydraulic fluid to bring your car to a safe stop. When you hit the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is pushed through the system to push the calipers together, which then pushes the brake pads down onto the rotor to slow your car. Disc brakes are more popular because they fare better in wet conditions (they dry more quickly) and they also are better at dissipating heat when you brake, which means you’ll always have full stopping power on your side.

car brake types

2) Drum brakes 

Drum brakes are similar to disc brakes. However, they have a small round drum with a set of brake shoes inside of it; when you brake, the shoes are pressed against the sides of the drum to slow you.  They’re the less popular option of the two, despite the fact that they’re cheaper to replace. Why? Two main reasons. They have a drum-like design (thus the name) and this means that the interior can hold water inside, which makes them function less effectively and also can cause rusting and corrosion. Also, they don’t handle heat as well as disc brakes and if they overheat, you lose stopping power.

types of car brakes

3) Anti-lock brakes 

Anti-lock brakes aren’t actually a type of brake, technically. They are, however, a technology that’s been integrated into the braking system to prevent the car brakes from locking up when in use. If you suddenly hit the brakes when you’re driving, the wheels could lock up and cause you to skid (especially if the weather is wet). An ABS brake system senses the rotational speed of each wheel and if it senses that a wheel has locked up, it sends pulses of brake pressure to that wheel to reduce the speed of your car and help you regain traction.

brake technology

4) Emergency brakes 

Your emergency brake is also known as your parking brake. This brake is connected to the main brakes of your car via a cable and is activated either by a hand lever, a foot pedal, or a button. You’ll typically use this type of car brake to keep your car in one spot (especially if you park on a hill), but it can also be used as a last-ditch resort should your main brakes fail.

emergency brake

Visit Toyota of Orlando for brake service today

Whether you have more questions about the different types of car brakes or you want to schedule service or repairs for your own, call Toyota of Orlando today! Our Orlando auto service center is open seven days a week at (407) 298-4500 and we’re conveniently located at 3575 Vineland Road, just off I-4 across from the Millenia Mall.

Posted in Toyota Service