The Braking System is the most critical system on your vehicle. Its maintenance and proper functioning are vital to you, your family and other motorists. You should not attempt to effectuate maintenance or repair work on brakes. Servicing or repairing the braking system requires specific tools and adequate technical training. That is exactly what Autotech Performance offers you.
Main Components of the Braking System
How does the Braking System work?
The brake pedal, on which you apply pressure to slow down or stop your vehicle, is connected by levers and rods to the brake booster. The brake booster multiplies and transfers the leverage force produced by stepping on the brake pedal to the master cylinder. In turn, the master cylinder uses that amplified leverage to pressure the brake fluid from its reservoir through hydraulic lines toward the two front and rear brakes that are mounted on the wheels of the vehicle.
In a conventional disc brake (usually located at the front of the vehicle), the brake fluid is pumped through a hydraulic line toward the hydraulic caliper. The caliper is fitted with a pair of fiber brake pads that grab a spinning metal disk - called rotor – attached to the front axle in order to slow down the vehicle. The pads being always in contact with the rotor, they need to be periodically checked and adjusted to detect any sign of wear.
A conventional drum brake (usually located at the rear of the vehicle) consists of a rotating drum that is attached to the wheel, and two expanding brake shoes. The brake shoes are curved metal pads equipped with a fiber brake lining around their outer arc; they are attached to a non-rotating part of the system. When brake pressure is applied, the brake fluid flows through a hydraulic line toward the wheel cylinder located between the brake shoes. The wheel cylinder then expands the shoes outward toward the inside of the drum. This creates friction slowing the rotating part of the drum and consequently the wheel.
Antilock Braking System (ABS)
The Antilock Braking System is located between the brake master cylinder and the wheels. Its purpose is to prevent instability of the vehicle under extreme braking conditions. To do so, the ABS modulates the pressure of the brake fluid that is applied to each front and rear brake, preventing the wheels from “locking up” - as could be the case in a conventional Braking System (see above). Normal brake fluid pressure is restored when there is no longer a possibility of the wheels locking up. As you drive, the system constantly monitors each wheel through an electronic wheel sensor: if one of the wheels is turning slower than the others, the antilock system releases the pressure on that wheel. In the eventuality of an ABS failure, the ABS warning light comes “on” on the instrument panel: it indicates that the basic braking system applies MAXIMUM pressure on all the wheels WHICH CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS SAFETY CONCERNS.
Every vehicle is equipped with an emergency braking system that is independent from the main system. The emergency brake expands the brake shoes on the drums (for rear brake drums) or compresses the rear brake rotors (for rear disc brakes) by means of a mechanical device.
Signs of troubles related to your vehicle’s Braking System