Stop it! (How Brakes Work)

Stop it! No, that’s not the sound of your kids arguing in the back seat. It’s your braking system working. While most drivers prefer not to work on brakes themselves, a solid understanding of how this system works helps you recognize the importance of preventive maintenance services and timely repairs. It will also make you more comfortable in conversations with your technician about your vehicle. For help with brake work on any make or model (both foreign and domestic), you can rely on Imports Plus Automotive in Columbus, Ohio. One visit to our shop will cure all your brake problems. If the kids are arguing, you’ll have to resolve that issue yourself.

How The Braking System Works 

Your car’s braking system is one of its greatest safety features. It stands between you and disaster each time you travel even a short distance. But perhaps you’re wondering…how does it do that? Here’s a quick trip through the collection of parts that stop your auto, saving your life daily. The braking system does it’s job by employing the scientific principles of friction and hydraulics.

When you press the brake pedal, you are actually applying force (via transfer by a level and piston) to the master cylinder, the container that holds brake fluid. As the pressure increases, the brake fluid is forced through the brake lines (hoses) to the cylinder that’s found near each wheel. The reasonable amount of force you apply to the brake pedal multiplies. This is called the hydraulic principle. It allows a substantial amount of force to be applied to the brake system’s components without a great deal of driver exertion. Those parts forced into action by the hydraulics then use friction to slow and stop the auto.

Nearly all modern vehicles have disc brakes (at least on the front two wheels). The brake caliper, moved by fluid force, pushes the metal brake pad against the disc at each wheel. As the metal parts brush against each other, they generate friction to counteract the car’s forward momentum. Depending upon the amount and duration of friction, the vehicle loses speed and eventually stops. Most older cars and often the rear wheels of newer ones have drum brakes. These also work by employing friction. As a drum turns inside the wheel, the hydraulic force presses metal brake shoes against the drum’s interior surface. This lowers speed and stops the car.

Brake Maintenance and Repair

Each component needs to be maintained to ensure your vehicle’s ability to stop. If you detect any issue between service visits, it should be addressed immediately. Fortunately, you don’t have to do this yourself. The team at Imports Plus Automotive is here to help with brakes as well as build a relationship with each customer.