What are the main components of the braking system?

main components of the braking system

When the safety of a vehicle is concerned, its braking system assumes utmost importance. The brakes in your vehicle enable you to stop it without much loss of energy.

The efficiency and the quality of brakes affect your car’s handling and also contribute toward fuel efficiency.

If the car takes too long to slow down, you will certainly overshoot the traffic signal and might result in an accident. Therefore, if we drive carefully and maintain our cars properly, we must know how to select and replace worn-out brake pads and brake shoes so that they can function properly. After all, this task is completely within our technical capability. One should not depend on mechanics for everything.

The following are some of the basic components of a braking system:

  1. Brake drums – Under your car, you will find a cylindrical device called a brake drum. It is fitted on the axle of the wheels and helps to absorb the kinetic energy used when we hit the brakes. The brake shoes in your car press down on these brake drums through a cable or hydraulic mechanism. When this happens, friction occurs between them and it turns into heat which reduces the speed of your vehicle and thus saves your life. These brake drums can be found attached to either side of rear wheels in some types of vehicles like trucks, while they are located inside front wheels for cars etc.
  2. Brake Shoe – The brake pad is attached to the metal shoe, which serves as a mechanical interface between the brake drum and other components. When you press your brakes apply pressure, a hydraulic or cable mechanism presses down on this metal shoe against the drum with significant force, thus creating friction between them which converts kinetic energy into heat. This way, it slows down your car. These are replaceable parts of the braking system so they can be replaced when worn out after many years of use to ensure the proper functioning of brakes. However, if they are not replaced in time and continue deteriorating, they can cause damage to other components too. Replacement of these parts is very important for safe driving. ​
  3. Brake Discs-  In front of your vehicle, there are brake discs attached to the wheel hubs which make contact with brake pads when brakes are applied. In most cases, it is made from cast iron or ceramic. These disks get heated up during the braking process and make contact with a rotating metal disc inside a drum which causes friction resulting in slowing down your car.
  4. Brake Cables – The brake cable is used to provide additional support to operate brake shoes attached with each wheel or in some cases all four wheels, of your vehicle. There are multiple cables that attach brake shoes with respective brake drums. These cables may further include spring clips for additional help in applying brakes. It works like a belt. You should apply enough pressure on brakes according to the speed of your vehicle, but you must not press too hard because it can cause damage to the brake cable. The brake cable consists of a metal wire wrapped in protective sheathing which is attached to both ends of the shoe assembly by way of retaining clips. Since these cables are subjected to heat and constant friction while functioning, they might get corroded over time and require replacement. Usually, brake lines need replacing after 6-7 years.
  5. Hydraulic System – The hydraulic system works with the application or release of brakes (pushing or pulling) at different brake drums/shoes (by pressing the brake pedal) for slowing down your car. This system could include a master cylinder, pushrods and brake lines, etc. There is a master cylinder that is attached to the top of your vehicle’s brake pedal. Inside this master cylinder, there are small rubber seals that get worn out over time. As these seals age, they become less flexible and might even crack or break, thus causing leaks in the system. Therefore, it needs replacement every 10 years. This hydraulic system also has valves that control fluid flow from the master cylinder to other brake drums through brake lines by pressing brake pedals. 
  6. Air Conditioning – Similarly, there is a small pump that pumps low-pressure brake fluid into your vehicle’s heating/cooling unit thus operating air conditioning. However, this system should not be activated when brakes are applied because it will increase brake failure.

For a healthy braking system of your vehicle, you should take good care of all six main parts. In case if any of these parts are damaged or worn out, it can cause serious injuries and even death while driving. You can easily buy some of these components at the best prices online at Carorbis where many leading brands are listed for the convenience of the customer with home delivery options. Therefore, replace them with new components in time to ensure safety.

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