Have you ever jammed your brake so hard that you felt your vehicle stutter at breaking-point? Met a red light so fast that you could almost taste the burning metal? Whilst it is easy to take your brakes for granted. Remember, your vehicle is both illegal and unsafe without properly functioning brakes.
Yet, how well do you actually understand how brakes work? Simply put, when you push down on your brake pedal it causes your vehicle to stop. However, behind the scenes, brakes are tailored and engineered through highly complicated scientific processes to meet specialist needs and industry standards.
The weight of your vehicle and the load it is carrying, the frequency of use, the terrain over which you are travelling and weather conditions are all essential features that determine how well your brakes will work over a period of time. But how well do you understand the mechanics that give good brakes (interlink to landing page) a long life? How well do you understand how your vehicles’ brakes work?
The answer – not as well as we would like you to. At Pedders your automobile and your safety is as important to us as it is to you. This guide explains the inner workings of your vehicle’s brakes – to help you keep them operating effectively, longer. And to help them, keep you safe.
Most vehicles have brakes on all 4 wheels that are operated by a hydraulic system. When you apply your foot to the brake pedal, you start your car on an unseen but critical safety process.
Almost all car brakes are friction based, which means they convert kinetic energy into heat energy to move and stop the vehicle. The pressure you apply is transmitted from your foot all the way to the wheels in order to stop the car. The vacuum from the engine boosts the force that is generated by your foot. This force is applied to a liquid within the system, without any loss, hence the sudden and hard braking when you push your foot down too hard. This is called hydraulic pressure. The pressurized brake fluid then moves down to the wheel, forcing the brake pads to move towards and tightly squeeze the revolving rotor. Generating friction and causing it to stop spinning, which ultimately stops your car.
Brakes are engineered to fulfil a very specific function for your automobile – getting it to stop. To fulfil this role, all vehicles have both front and rear brakes. Whilst brakes usually work on the vehicles wheel hubs, they can also work on the axles or transmission.
In the case of friction brakes, they can either be drum or disc brakes. Disc brakes perform better than drum brakes, and stay cooler when used frequently. Most vehicles rely more heavily on the front brakes than the rear, and this is why the more efficient disk brakes are used on the front and drum brakes are used at the back.
A key component of a disc brake system is brake pads. Brake pads can be made of a variety of materials depending on the vehicle and driving style, but usually contain a steel disk that provide the friction needed to stop the vehicle. These components of the braking process are used to boost performance and endurance for every vehicle. However, like the break pad, there are other elements of your brake that can influence performance and increase longevity.
At Pedders we understand brakes and we understand you. Find out more about how to choose good brakes (interlink to landing page article), why we love brakes and how to keep your brakes safe through the summer.
Looking for something particular? Visit our online store. Our exclusive range of brakes and brake pad cover many makes and models, alongside industry leading brake products from Akenobo, Bosch, Bendigo & PBR. And when you’re ready to upgrade your car brakes, turn to Pedders Suspension. From high quality disc brake pads to brake rotors and calipers, we have everything you need to optimize your performance vehicle on the Australian roads!
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