The Most Common Types of Brakes

The brakes on your car are its most vital safety feature. Therefore, it’s critical that you make an effort to understand them better to improve your safety on the road.

What Are the Three Different Types of Brakes?

  1. Electromagnetic brake system: This is a newer brake system that has become quite popular over the last couple of years. It utilizes an electric motor fitted to the vehicle to bring the car to a stop. The electromagnetic brake system is more common in hybrid and electric vehicles where regenerative braking is utilized.
  2. Frictional brake system: This brake system is the most common option for cars on the road today. As the name suggests, the brakes rely on friction to stop the vehicle, and they are available in two forms: shoes and pads.
  3. Hydraulic brake system: This brake system comprises a reservoir of hydraulic braking fluid and a master cylinder. These are connected through a collection of rubber fittings and metal pipes to the cylinders of the wheels attached to two pistons fitted to either a band or drum brake.

What Are the Different Parts of a Braking System?

  • ABS control module: This component is found on all vehicles with ABS brakes and carries out a diagnostic check on the ABS braking system.
  • Disc brakes: Commonly found on front wheels, this type has brake pads that grab a disc (rotor) when the brake pedal is pressed.
  • Drum brakes: Mostly found on rear wheels, these contain wheel cylinders, brake drum and brake shoes. When the brake pedal is pressed, the brake shoes are pushed against the brake drum walls.
  • Wheel speed sensors: These sensors are part of the ABS brake system, and they are tasked with monitoring the wheel speed.
  • Brake pedal: The brake pedal is always in the driver’s footwell and is where the initial braking input is applied.
  • Master cylinder: This is responsible for converting non-hydraulic pressure into hydraulic pressure to brake the wheels.
  • Emergency brake: It operates independently from the primary braking system, and its role is to prevent the vehicle from rolling away.

What Are Four Braking Techniques?

  1. Threshold braking: This braking technique boosts the car’s traction on the road by transferring its load to the front wheels.
  2. Cover braking: This technique enables the vehicle to slow down smoothly or over somewhat short distances.
  3. Controlled braking: This technique lets you slow down smoothly and maintain a lower cruising speed, like when entering a school zone.
  4. Emergency braking: This breaking technique involves pulling the emergency brake and doing evasive driving to stop the car as soon as possible.

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