We all know a car has brakes. But how do they work and what are the main parts? Read our Getting To Know Brakes guide to find out more…
Getting to know brakes – What are the brakes for?
Your brakes are one of the most important pieces of safety equipment in your vehicle, and their purpose is to slow the car down. They are checked whenever the car is serviced. In the MOT, the performance of the brakes is tested on a rolling road to measure the amount of force they generate.
Getting to know brakes – What are the types of brakes?
You will find two common types of brakes – disc brakes and drum brakes. Some cars use a combination of the two; others have disc brakes on every wheel.
A disc brake system comprises a disc, a calliper and brake pads. When the brake pedal is pushed, hydraulic fluid pushes the brake pad against the rotating brake disc. This produces friction which slows the car down. An advantage of disc brakes is that they dissipate heat faster than drum brakes, reducing the likelihood of “brake fade”.
A drum brake system comprises hydraulic wheel cylinders, brake shoes and a brake drum. When you press the brake pedal, the brake shoes are forced against the inner surface of the brake drum. The contact produces friction which slows the vehicle.
Most cars are now fitted with ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System). Its purpose is to apply and release pressure to a wheel that slows too quickly. This allows the maximum possible force to be applied without the brakes locking-up, which can make the car skid.
Getting to know brakes – How often does brake fluid need to be changed?
Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air so should be replaced every two years, no matter how many miles have been driven.
Getting to know brakes – What are the warning signs of worn brakes?
- A squeal or screech noise.
- Vibration or juddering when the brakes are pressed.
- The car pulling to one side under braking.
- A warning light on the dashboard.
Call Car Clinic MOT Centre Ellesmere Port Garages now for a free no obligation Ellesmere Port brakes quote and book an Ellesmere Port car servicing appointment for your vehicle at the same time. Car Clinic MOT Centre Ellesmere Port helping you stay safe this winter!