Your braking system is a major component in the makeup of your vehicle. The brakes are probably the most important component of your vehicle. No ‘go’ not good, no ‘whoa’ really, really bad. Your brake essentially converts the kinetic energy (energy of motion) of your vehicle to heat. Your disc brakes are far more efficient than drum brakes at this energy conversion. Disc brakes being open can cool quicker. Brake fade was a problem with the older drum brakes. If the heat conversion was higher than the cooling rate, the brakes would cease to function, as the heat could not be carried away from the drums fast enough. A real problem that plagues truckers.
Old Drum Brake Components
Brakes are a thermodynamic system utilizing friction, hence the heat generation to convert motion to heat and slowing or stopping the car. Older drum brakes were semi-enclosed systems. The design of the brake would ‘cam’ the shoes into the drums. Heat would build up but could only be dissipated through the outer sides and edge of the drum. But because of the self ‘camming’ of the brake shoes early systems didn’t need power brake systems to function.
Disc Brake Working Principle
Disc brakes work by squeezing a rotating disc between two pads attached to the axles or spindles. To work properly all major vehicle disc brakes are power assisted. The advantage of disc brakes is their open structure. This allows the free flow of area leading to a more effective and uniform cooling of the brake, increasing the thermodynamic flow of the friction generated heat, increasing the stopping power and efficiency of the brake. Hence, the almost universal adoption of disc brakes on modern cars and light trucks. The disc is a vented rotating disc of cast iron or steel. It is attached to the wheel. The calipers are the part holding the pads and are attached to the pads that provide friction. A piston actuates the pads causing them to ‘squeeze’ the disc, creating friction generated heat. The connection between the driver’s brake pedal and the brakes is a hydraulic system that exploits the incompressibility of liquids to actuate the brakes. The pedal is attached to the master cylinder. When pressed the piston in the master cylinder is forced forward through the lines in turn transferring that force to the brake piston cylinder on either the calipers of the disc brake or the wheel cylinder of the drum brake.
Brake Pad Wear
Not only does the lining of the shoes in a drum brake and the lining of the pads in a disc brake wear so do the drums and discs. At some point you can wear them down to the point you have metal to metal contact, not really an optimum operational strategy, in fact it is down right dangerous.
Brake System Maintenance
Brake maintenance repair involve the grinding of the disc or drum to a smooth finish and new shoes or pads depending on the brake design. With metal to metal contact you will usually need to replace the disc or drum. Expensive, well more so than a timely intervention. After a couple of brake jobs, they will need replacing as they can be ground only so far until they are to thin for safe operation.
Brake Fluid Types
Brake fluid is a special liquid used in the hydraulic stage of braking. It is a high temperature fluid to resist boiling at the brake piston and wheel cylinders, the hot points. Pads operate a bit hotter because they are more efficient at generating heat, so be aware you are using your auto manufacturers recommendations for fluid.
Brake Auto Repair, Minor Mechanical Services & More Dallas, Texas (Just Minutes Away from Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale & Wylie, TX)
Repair and maintenance of you brake system is critical for the safe operation of your transportation. Top Notch Body Shop & Mechanic offers many minor auto repairs including brake service. Contact us today to learn more!