The braking system of a vehicle is one of its most important safety features. A vehicle comes to a complete stop when the brake pedal is pressed because this system slows down the rotation of the wheels. During this process, a braking system undergoes a lot of activity. The following information will help you understand car brake systems.
Brake systems in cars
Brake systems in cars are one of the most important safety features and play a crucial role in ensuring the vehicle can come to a stop in an emergency. There are two main types of brake systems in cars: hydraulic and electric. The hydraulic brake system uses a master cylinder to pressurize brake fluid, which then transfers the force to the brake pads to slow down the wheels.
The electric brake system, also known as regenerative braking, uses the electric motor in the vehicle to slow down the wheels, which helps to conserve energy and increase the vehicle’s efficiency. Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them often depends on the specific needs of the vehicle and the driving conditions it will encounter.
Regardless of the type, all brake systems in cars must be well-maintained and regularly inspected to ensure they are functioning properly and providing adequate stopping power.
In the case of a car without an excellent braking system, the stopping distance would increase by a large margin, which would lead to accidents. Therefore, a car’s brake system must always be in top shape to stop a vehicle with the least distance and without discomforting the occupants. Since the introduction of the first automobile, brake systems have evolved dramatically. In the following section, we describe the brake systems in cars in some detail.
A review of the fundamentals and application in cars.
Car brake systems are designed to stop/reduce the vehicle’s speed by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy into heat through friction. The friction between two surfaces is the point created when resistance is applied. Therefore, the system of a car’s brakes generates friction by bringing in contact a stationary surface with a kinetic character.
In cars, the brake pads or shoes begin to rub against the disc or drum as soon as the brake pedal is pressed. Due to friction between the two surfaces, kinetic energy is converted into heat energy. As soon as the vehicle comes to a complete stop, it remains stationary due to static friction. Over here, the friction generated between the tires and the road, and even the brakes and wheels, prevent the vehicle from moving forward.
There are two ways to classify brakes, discs, and drums. They are named according to the mechanism they use to apply brake pressure. Even slightly premium cars have disc brakes all around, but most mainstream vehicles have drum brakes at the rear.
What are the brake types in cars?
Three different brake systems can be found in cars. They are:
- The mechanical brakes
- Hydraulic brakes
- Air brakes
1. Mechanical brakes
Every car has a mechanical braking system, whether the hand brake or the e-brake. The lever for this system is found next to the driver’s seat. The lever is attached to the brakes at the vehicle’s rear using a steel cable. Immediately after pulling the handbrake, the steel wire engages the brake shoe and stops the drum from rotating, effectively halting the vehicle’s movement. Using this tool becomes particularly useful when parking on a slope.
2. Hydraulic brakes
By pressing the brake pedal, fluid passes through the master cylinder to the brake pads or the brake shoes when the brake system in a car is this type. This fluid transfers the pressure to the brake pads or the brake shoes, reducing the momentum. The pressure put through the liquid is consistent throughout the system, which is very reliable. The hydraulic brake system consists of a brake pedal, a master cylinder, a wheel cylinder, and brake pads and shoes.
3. The Air brakes
Air brakes are rarely found on cars, but they are more common on trucks and buses. They are composed of an air compressor, an air reserve tank, check valves and safety valves. Despite its similarity to hydraulic brakes, it transmits pressure through the air instead of fluid.
What should you do if your brakes fail?
A car commuter’s worst nightmare is to find themselves cruising down a freeway when suddenly hitting the brakes results in nothing but a shocking shock. There are many countries where brake failures constitute a significant death trap. Brake failures and road accidents are most commonly caused by improper maintenance of ignorance by the driver.
Following are the steps you should take if you find yourself in a brake failure situation.
- If you discover your car’s brakes aren’t working, the first and foremost thing you should do is to let your fellow drivers know. Using your hazard lights and continuously honking your horn is the easiest way to notify people around you.
- To slow down your vehicle, you have to remove your foot from the accelerator pedal. Because your car doesn’t have brakes, your first step should be to slow it down.
- De-accelerate the vehicle and put it in neutral gear so that the engine’s rpm can be controlled.
- Try to put firm pressure on the brakes. Nowadays, most cars are equipped with ABS systems that can assist the car in stopping in an emergency. To test whether your vehicle has ABS, pump both brake pedals repeatedly.
- Pull the parking brakes after lowering your vehicle’s speed to a sufficient level. When you do this step too quickly, your car’s tires may lock up, which could result in the car skidding off the rails.
Vehicles have a brake system as an essential part of their operation. This is an attempt to provide the necessary information as simply as possible. Many technical concepts are used in brake design beyond this article’s scope.