Car Brake System – Things You Should Know

If you haven’t yet taken a deep interest in your car’s brake system, you may be surprised to see that the simple-looking system which enables you to stop or slow down your vehicle with just a push to pedal is so complex from inside with many components that work together to give you a flawless braking experience. But it’s necessary for you to know this very important system of your vehicle in order to get the correct repair or replacement done. Here are some tips.

How do Brakes Work?

Brake system works by multiplying the force applied to the pedal and use it to slow down or stop the rotating of wheels. To create the necessary brake pressure, usually a booster is used in the brake systems.

Types of Brake Systems

You also should know the various types of brake systems, like:

Hydraulic: Uses hydraulic fluid. This is further classified as single-circuit and dual-circuit hydraulic systems. While in a single-circuit system, there is a single circuit, in a dual-circuit system, there are two circuits – one gives a signal to an onboard computer upon pressing the brake pedal and the other takes instructions from the computer about brake pressure required and performs the required brake action.

Parking Brakes: Parking brakes or emergency brakes or hand brakes are used to stop the car upon the failure of the regular brake system.

Brake-by-wire: Electronically-operated. Similar in working to the dual-circuit hydraulic brake system but differs in design. It uses electronic wires to operate, unlike dual-circuit system which uses hydraulic fluid.

Anti-lock: Superior to regular brake system. Main advantage is prevention of wheels from locking up in the event of emergency stops and thus prevention of any serious injury to driver or car.

Air Brake: Usually used in heavy vehicles like buses, trailers and trucks. Here hydraulic fluid is replaced by air.

How to Know if Your Brakes have Failed?

  • Grinding or squealing noise coming while braking from bad brake pads
  • Vehicle being dragged towards one side due to failed braking linkage
  • Spongy or hard pedal due to worn-out brake pads or shoes
  • Wobbling during braking due to bad brake rotors/drums
  • Brake pedal not returning to its regular position due to a bad master cylinder
  • ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) light on the dashboard remains on due to a problem in anti-lock brakes
  • Longer braking distance after pedal is pressed


  • Check brake fluid regularly
  • Keep brake system clean regularly

Why OEM Number is Important?

It’s important to know the OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) number while buying brake and wheel parts. This number is designated by the manufacturers during production of the parts so as to identify them easily. By mentioning the OEM number, you can get the correct replacement part. The number is found on the part itself.

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