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Brake Repair: Important Categories

Drum brakes, parking breaks and disc brakes all consist of the main categories of the braking system. It is important to operate a safe vehicle and know the status of your brakes at all times.

Drum brakes, disc brakes, and parking brakes are the main categories of brake systems used in today's cars. They are vital to the safe operation of a car, and if they fail, it is best to seek a mechanic immediately. Understanding how a vehicle's brakes work, can help assess repair costs and prevent problems in the future.

A disc brake system is placed on the front two wheels of a vehicle. Disc brakes are the most commonly used system because they are more effective with stopping heavier cars. Calipers are the main component of this system. The other components include the pads and the rotor. The caliper holds the caliper piston and the brake pads. When the driver applies the brake, the caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor, which is what actually stops the motion of the wheels. The rotor houses the wheel, and it is placed between the the brake pads. When these brakes fail, it is commonly because the pads need replacement. As the pads press down on the rotor, there may be a squeaking sound, which indicates that the pads have become too thin. Occasionally, the brake caliper will stick, or become bent, which will require replacing the caliper. If the brake pedal requires extra force in order to stop the vehicle, the caliper may also be the culprit.

Drum brakes work using the same principle as disc brakes; shoes or pads press against a spinning surface. However, instead of clamping down on the spinning drums, the shoes move outward and make a wedge against the drum to stop the wheels. This brake system is placed on the back wheels, and its configuration works well with the parking brake system, which is also placed on the rear wheels. Drum brakes use additional parts including springs to hold the shoes away from the drum. When the brake pedal is depressed, the pistons push the shoes out to create the wedge. There is also a brake adjuster attached to the shoes and the piston, which keeps the shoes close to the drum. The design of this system allows for an emergency brake cable to be applied to the back wheels. The cable is attached to the shoes, so that when a lever is pulled it forces the shoes to wedge against the drum. Brake repairs to the rear wheels are rare, although the most common repair is changing the shoes.

The braking mechanism on a vehicle is the single most important safety measure for safe operation of any vehicle. Pay attention to the brakes often, and be on the look out for any changes in pedal depression and the effectiveness of the brakes. The most common repair for both the front and back brakes is a shoe or pad replacement. HoweverArticle Submission, other issues including hydraulics or the disc itself may be an issue.

Article Tags: Drum Brakes, Disc Brakes, Brake System, Brake Pads

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