Magnum Autoclub

Swift Solutions for Your Convenience – Quick and Efficient Service with No Appointments Needed!

How Do Car Braking Systems Work

The braking system of a car is one of its most crucial and fail-proof systems. Should it fail, it is pretty much guaranteed that something bad might happen unless you know other ways to stop your car from crashing. However, given their importance and their utility in our daily lives as a means of controlling our ton or two-ton metal friends, very few people know about the actual functioning of car braking systems, how they work, what types of braking systems are used in cars and other things related to the braking system of a car. Let’s take a look at all of these questions and start answering them one by one. 

Let us first start by looking at the components of a car’s braking system. 

Car braking system: what does it include?

In a car’s braking system, the main components are as follows:

  • Brake pedal.
  • Master cylinder
  • Brake drum (in drum brake systems)
  • Brake discs (in disc brake systems)
  • Brake calipers.
  • Brake pistons.
  • Servos
  • Brake pads.
  • Brake shoes.
  • Emergency brake

All of these components work together under a linear system to transfer the power from the brake pedal down to the pistons and the calipers that use friction to stop the wheel rotors. However, this all will be discussed in detail later on. Let’s look at the two significant types of braking systems used in cars, passenger trucks, and other vehicles for daily use. 

Common types of braking systems

There are two types of braking systems used in passenger cars. 

Drum brakes:

These systems use an inboard drum that pressurizes the brake pads against the wheel rotors, generating friction that stops the vehicle. Given their size limitations and their technological inferiority, drum brakes are only used in base versions of low-powered passenger cars and trucks where high-performance braking is not usually needed. 

Disc brakes:

In disc brakes, the brake disc is attached to the wheel rotor. The brake disc also has a caliper on it, which contains pistons that act as the primary pressure-transferring device. When the brake pedal is pressed, the hydraulic fluid from the master cylinder goes to all servos, where it is converted into mechanical force that then acts upon the pistons within the caliper, causing the disc to come into contact with the wheel rotor, generating friction and slowing the car down. 

Now, onto the actual functioning of a car’s braking system. 

How do car braking systems work?

Car braking systems work primarily on fluid dynamics principles and the pressures that fluids can exert on outside bodies. As a basic version, let’s look at how a basic disc braking system with brake fluid works in modern cars. 

The process starts with the pressing of the brake pedal. When depressed, the brake fluid travels from the main line to the main brake cylinder, which is tasked with distributing the hydraulic pressure across all four servos and slave cylinders. These cylinders and servos are located at all four wheels, and depending on the brake configuration of the vehicle, where the rear brakes might be drums, and the front ones might be discs, or all fours might be discs, the master cylinder distributes the brake fluid equally to all four wheels of the car. 

Now, in a vehicle with all four-disc brakes, the fluid is carried to the four points or wheels of the car using brake lines. Once the fluid reaches the brake disc, it activates the pistons in the brake caliper, using fluid pressure to exert force on the pistons. These pistons in turn, force the brake disc to come in contact with the wheel rotor, which is spinning according to the speed of the vehicle itself. Once it comes into contact with the rotor, the friction power generated between the two brings the rotor to a stop, stopping the entire vehicle as well. 

In drum braking systems, rather than a disc that is attached to the wheel rotor, an inboard drum is attached to the wheel itself. Utilizing the same operating principles as that of the disc brakes, the brake fluid is transferred by the master cylinder to all four wheels of the car. Once the fluid gets to the brake drum, the outboard brake pads attached on either side of the drum and close in proximity to the wheel rotor move outward, rubbing against the moving rotor, generating friction and slowing the car down. 

Modern additions to the braking system: ABS, EBD

Both braking systems utilize fluid dynamics to operate and use a number of assistants and features to amplify the effect of braking further. For example, with anti-lock braking system or ABS in modern cars, the tendency for the rear wheels (where weight is lower as compared to the front wheels in regular passenger cars) to lock up during hard braking conditions or extreme braking conditions is rectified by installing sensors and a wide array of other mechanical parts to prevent the wheels from locking up. 

During any such braking condition, the ABS apparatus ensures that the wheels don’t lock up and stop rotating during braking since this can cause the car to slide and lose control. Furthermore, advancements like EBD or electronic brake distribution further regulate the braking potential being sent to all four wheels of the car in order to maximize the efficacy of the braking system. For instance, usually, modern braking and EBD systems tend to bias braking force towards the front of the car rather than the rear, and this is done mainly with the help of electronic sensors and other load-bearing mechanisms that ensure that where weight is the most, the braking potential goes there.

The bottom line

The braking system of a car is one of its most important mechanisms. Given the mechanical and hydraulic linkages that go through the underside of the vehicle, it is always possible that either of these parts of the system might fail at any time. This is why it is essential to take good care of your car and ensure that each part of the braking system is in good condition and works effectively as well. Because if your braking system comes under duress or has any issues in it, this might put you, your car and other motorists and pedestrians in danger and peril of a severe accident. 

Magnum Autoclub: keeps your car operating like a dream!

We get it: mechanics aren’t the most trustworthy out of the bunch. They might overcharge you; some might misstate the vehicle’s requirements, and nearly all of them exploit the fact that basic engineering eludes most of us. However, you need not worry about all mechanics being crooks: introducing Magnum Autoclub, your trusted vehicle maintenance service and garage that is here to dispel these qualms about dishonesty. Only the best mechanics, with the best in mind for your car, are here to change the way you think about vehicles. No overcharging, no shady terminologies popping out suddenly, just clear honesty about what your car needs to give you the best riding experience. With Magnum Autoclub, your car will be more than just a way for you to go from point A to point B, it is now an entirely different animal.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top