In a hydraulic system, a force is multiplied using an oil-based fluid. Hydraulics allows your vehicle to work smarter, not harder.

The brake system of your vehicle is a great example of a hydraulic system; the force on the brake pedal is magnified with the help of brake fluid, cylinders, and pistons. The friction caused by this system eventually stops your car. Learn more about hydraulics and brakes from the Jerome car repair experts at Master Muffler.

Types of Brakes in Vehicles

Different motor vehicles use different types of brakes. From hydraulic to electromagnetic, a variety of parts work to transform kinetic energy into heat energy to stop your vehicle.

In a car or truck, you might find one or all of the following braking systems:

  • Service Brakes: The pedal brake a driver pushes in an automobile with their foot.
  • Parking Brakes: A hand or foot brake that keeps an already stationary vehicle in place.
  • Emergency Brakes: A backup braking system, or a parking brake option.

Types of Braking Systems

Whether you’re in a car, a train, or on an all-terrain vehicle, you’ll find a braking system. They vary somewhat in their operations, but all aim to bring your vehicle to a safe stop when needed. For Jerome car repair on any of these systems, let us know how we can help. 

Hydraulic Braking

Some of the most important components of a hydraulic braking system are the master cylinder, braking fluid reservoir, and friction. Connected by a series of pipes and rods, the cylinder is activated when the driver pushes the brake pedal. That triggers a master cylinder piston, which moves brake fluid from the reservoir into a pressure chamber.

As the pressure increases, the fluid continues to move through the hydraulic lines to brake calipers. The calipers also contain pistons that move, creating friction between the brake pads (on the calipers) and the brake disc. When the brake pads are depressed on the brake disc, it slows the roll of the vehicle. This friction also creates heat, which is vented out of the vehicle. As a closed system, it is important that the braking fluid doesn’t leak out of any chambers, pipes, or lines. When there are faulty seals in the system, there isn’t enough pressure for everything to operate, and your vehicle is at risk of having contaminants in the brake fluid.

Parts of a Hydraulic Braking System

  • Brake pedal
  • Actuating or push rod
  • Master cylinder
  • Reinforced hydraulic lines
  • Brake caliper assembly

What is Brake Fluid Made Of?

  • Glycol ethers and/or diethylene glycol

Electromagnetic Braking (EM Brakes)

For this braking system, your vehicle uses an electric motor that helps facilitate friction to slow your car and bring it to a stop. Popular in hybrid vehicles, electromagnetic brakes are also used in trains, trams, and buses as a secondary braking system. Pushing the brake pedal in the vehicle’s cabin sends voltage to the braking coil, which creates a magnetic field. The coil itself becomes an electromagnet and pulls an armature disc against the coil. This connection stops the rotation of the wheels, in turn stopping the vehicle. 80% of all power applied brakes use single face electromagnetic brakes. 

Benefits of Electromagnetic Brakes

  • Lightweight
  • Require less maintenance (no brakes shoes to replace)
  • Generate less heat 
  • Quick response time

Brake Booster/Servo Braking

This system employs a vacuum to create pressure and slow a vehicle. The suction created by an engine’s intake manifold allows for less effort to be used on a vehicle’s brake pedal, and for less distance needed before a vehicle is stopped. As the name implies, this system gives a boost to the brakes, making hydraulic brakes more efficient.

Mechanical Braking

Your hand brake or emergency brake is an example of a mechanical braking system. When you crank up that brake between the two front seats in older vehicles, it activates a mechanical system consisting of cylindrical rods, fulcrums, and springs. These work together to amplify the force and stop your vehicle. Mechanical braking is a secondary system, meant to act as a safeguard in the event your primary brakes fail, or you’re parking on a hill and want to further secure your vehicle.

Frictional Braking

You learn in science class all about objects staying in motion until they are acted upon by another object. Well, a frictional braking system employs this concept. Service brakes use pads and shoes that rely on friction to slow the vehicle. 

Types of Brakes

Since vehicles vary in size and intended use, they may include different types of brakes. You’ll most likely find disc brakes on heavy-duty vehicles, motorcycles, and high-performance racing vehicles. Disc brakes have gradually replaced drum brakes in most types of cars, but typically only on the front set of wheels. You might still find drum brakes on the back wheels of your newer car if you were to look today. Master Muffler can assist with repairs to either disc or drum brakes.

Disc Brake

Disc brakes are the most common type found in cars today, thanks to their efficiency. Disc brakes handle heat better, making them ideal for the front wheels of a car, where most of the energy transfer occurs when braking. 

Disc hydraulic brakes include the following:

  • Brake pedal or brake lever
  • Master cylinder
  • Brake fluid reservoir
  • Brake lines
  • Disc rotor
  • Disc caliper

Drum Brake

Drum brakes cost less to manufacture than disc brakes, but they aren’t as efficient when used on all four wheels of a vehicle. Since they wear out faster, they’re a common car repair many auto owners face. For heavy-duty towing or high-performance vehicles, you probably won’t find drum brakes on all four wheels. For regular, everyday automobiles though, it’s common for the front wheels to have disc brakes, while the back wheels have drums.

Drum hydraulic brakes include the following:

  • Brake pedal or brake lever
  • Master cylinder
  • Brake fluid reservoir
  • Brake lines
  • Drum cylinder
  • Brake drum

If you’re in need of Jerome car repair, give us a call today.