What Types of Brake Systems Does My Car Have?
Your vehicle has an anti-lock braking system, which allows you to steer as your brakes are engaged. In addition to this, most cars have two or three types of brake systems. It is important to bring your car into The Car Doctor for a routine inspection of each brake system to prevent any major problems. These brake systems are:
Disc Brakes - If you look through one of your car's wheels, you will see a shiny metal disc just inside. This is called a “disc brake.” When the driver steps on the brake pedal, a pad of hard-wearing material clamps onto the brake disc and rubs it to make it slow down—in a similar way to bicycle brakes.
Drum Brakes - Some cars have disc brakes on all four wheels while others have disc brakes on their front wheels and drum brakes on their back wheels. Instead of the disc and brake block, drum brakes have shoes inside the hollow wheel hub that press outward. As the shoes push into the wheel, friction slows you down.
Handbrake - Your vehicle's handbrake, or parking brake, applies force to the disc and drum brakes in a slower, less forceful way via a lever, pedal, or button that's located between your car's two front seats. When you pull on the brake, a system of levers tugs on a pair of sturdy cables that apply the brakes to the back wheels. The handbrake system is completely mechanical or electrical and does not use brake fluid like the disc and drum brakes, so it can be used as an emergency brake (with great care) when the other brake systems fail.
What Are Brake Rotors and How Do They Work?
Brake rotors are part of your vehicle's disc brake system. It is an iron disc that is connected to the tire's hub that works together with the brake pads to stop your vehicle. Each of your vehicle's wheels has a brake rotor that has internal fins that help dissipate heat. When you press on the brake pedal to stop, the brake pads are pressed against the brake rotors to create friction. This will make your vehicle safely come to a stop or slow down, depending on how hard you press on the brake pedal. This process produces a large amount of heat, creating a high temperature in your vehicle's brake rotors. As you drive, the heat leaves the vehicle and goes into the air. This process is called “heat dissipation.”
Other brake components include:
Brake calipers: Brake calipers are a clamp that houses the brake fluid, brake pistons, and brake pads. With good and regular maintenance, brake calipers can last a long time.
Brake drums: Brake drums are your vehicle's drum brake system. They are hollow and turn with your vehicle's wheels. Brake drums are built with longevity and, with proper care, can last for over 100,000 miles depending on the environment you drive in.
Brake fluid: Brake fluid activates the brake pistons, which causes your brake pads to slow your vehicle down. If there isn't enough brake fluid, the pistons won't activate properly. We at The Car Doctor in Fairfax recommend getting your brake fluid flushed and replaced when you come in for regular vehicle maintenance.
Many companies sell brake products or different parts of your vehicle's brake system. We at The Car Doctor use quality parts and can assure you that we will get your vehicle to the condition the manufacturer intended.
What Are the Different Types of Brake Rotors?
Here are the four types of brake rotors you can have on your vehicle:
Smooth brake rotors - Most vehicles, including those from, Acura, Audi, BMW, and Buick come with smooth brake rotors, and this is because smooth brake rotors provide enough stopping power for most driving conditions. Because they have a smooth surface, smooth brake rotors have the most rotor surface area compared to other types of brake rotors. They can also absorb a lot of heat and are not prone to cracking under extreme use.
Slotted brake rotors - Slotted brake rotors have slots cut along the surface of the rotor that makes contact with the brake pad. These grooves allow the brake pad's surface area to have less contact with the brake rotors, which results in more heat dissipation. These are often found on performance or high-end vehicles.
Cross-drilled brake rotors - Cross-drilled brake rotors have drill holes that are mostly used for heat dissipation. These brake rotors were originally used in race cars to reduce the amount of heat the rotor would have to absorb.
Drilled and slotted brake rotors - Drilled and slotted brake rotors offer the benefits of slotted brake rotors and cross-drilled brake rotors. These brake rotors can keep temperatures down. Low temperatures prevent fade resistance, which is when high temperatures cause part of the brake rotor's resin material to vaporize.
Your Reliable Shop for Brake Rotors Repair
If you are having an issue with your brake rotors, The Car Doctor in Falls Church is your go-to place. Our team of Quality technicians have decades of experience and are experts in all things auto repair, including Computer Diagnostics, Auto Repair, and brake rotors repair. We can improve your vehicle's brake performance efficiently and cost-effectively.
Reasons You Should Do Business With Us:
We've been fixing cars since 1978 and are experts in all things auto repair. If you are in the 22042 area or nearby, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with The Car Doctor either online or via phone at 703-560-8870. The Car Doctor - Quality you Can Trust, at a Fair Price!.