What are The Main Vehicle Brake Components?

High School Revisited:  Your Vehicle’s Brake Components

What were you paying attention to in high school?  Never mind.  We know.  It was likely girls/boys, weekend plans, and the latest "news" (which wasn't found on CNN).  Chances are, physics lessons and any mechanical knowledge mentioned in driver's ed aren't your favorite memories from high school, but they are, nevertheless, part of your everyday life.  How?  If you drive or ride in any kind of transportation, you rely on brakes.  Concerned about your brakes and not remembering those belabored lessons?  That's okay.  Bring your vehicle to AMPM Automotive in Rockville, Maryland.  We can help you ensure that your brakes are in proper working order--without you having to attend remedial high school classes.

A Few Parts, An Amazing Whole 

So you just press the brake pedal, and the car stops.  Right?  Yes, but the principles and components are a bit more complex than that.  When your auto is rolling, it is primarily governed by Newton's First Law of Motion.  This states that an object (like your car) that is in motion tends to stay in motion.  Great--until you're in imminent danger or you're approaching a stop sign.  Then what?  That's when your brakes (those parts you can't see) suddenly become the most important components on your auto.  The braking system works using Pascal's Principle, meaning that pressure anywhere in a closed system is transferred evenly throughout all the fluid in that system.  Thus, you depress the brake pedal, and the pressure to the brake fluid is applied throughout.  Eventually, this causes friction, the final physics principle that stops your vehicle. 

Here's how it works:

The force of your foot against the pedal moves a piston into the master cylinder.  This is a reservoir that holds brake fluid.  The piston's pressure forces brake fluid through hoses to the cylinder near each wheel.  The force multiplies, moving the components and causing friction that ultimately stops the car.  Most modern cars have disc brakes on at least the front wheels.  The forced brake fluid presses the brake caliper.  The caliper then moves the brake pad against the disc.  As these metal parts contact each other, the friction reduces forward motion, causing the car to slow and eventually stop.  Older cars as well as the rear wheels on many newer autos have drum brakes.  They also use friction.  With this type, the force of the brake fluid pushes metal brake shoes against the inner surface of the drum (which turns inside the wheel), causing the car to slow down and stop.  Together, these individual parts form an amazing safety system for modern cars using long-known scientific concepts.

Give Your Brakes a Break 

Obviously, all this force and friction can eventually lead to wear.  If you need your brakes inspected, are ready for preventive maintenance service, or suspect a braking problem, give your hard-working brakes a break.  Bring your auto to AMPM Automotive in Rockville, Maryland.

Written by AMPM Automotive

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