types of brakes

Car Brakes And How To Maintain Them

A brake in any vehicle plays an important role. It would only be troublesome if a car can’t start but it can be perilous when it can’t stop. In other words, maintaining its good condition is your responsibility. Just like us, humans, it also needs care, check-up, and maintenance as it can also wear out.  Normally, brakes can show you the signs if ever there is a brake wear. Ignoring these signs cannot only cause you further repair cost but can also lead you to danger and as well as to the others. If there is a serious problem in your brakes, it is better to have it solved by the experts however if it is just examining the condition,replacing brake pad, changing disc,bleeding brake fluid, and filling up brake fluid, it is just an easy thing in which almost everyone can do. In fact, it is one of the easiest tasks anyone can do in their car.

What’s what?

Before you indulge in knowing how to maintain the brakes of your car, it is as well important to know the basics of a braking system.  A brake is a mechanism that has the ability to stop a moving system simply by taking up its energy or halting its power. It is designed to stop the motion of a moving mechanical object (axle, wheel, etc.), which is usually caused by the form of friction. Generally, most of the people share a common misconception that brakes supposedly are the one responsible for stopping a vehicle. Logically, it is quite not exact. Most of the brakes allow friction among two components to have their force to be pressed concurrently to convert the moving system’s kinetic energy into heat. In simple terms, the friction of the tires and the road are the ones that holds responsible for stopping the car and not exactly the brakes. What brakes actually do is they prevent the tires from spinning but it is the friction of the opposing surfaces that made the vehicle stops.

Brakes are commonly seen and suggested to a spinning tire or axles but in some cases, it is also applied and is used in other forms and is done with combinations. For instance, vehicles such as racing cars may have brake tires and as well as a parachute. A parachute is also a means to stop the car but it is usually used for emergency cases. Airplanes too have wheel brakes and at same time a drag flaps (flaps used in either water or air) which are usually used in times of landing. These vehicles use two brakes because they are known for their incredible speed. When a vehicle is fast, it generally is known to have a great air drag in which energy can be absorbed by it, and it would be then a hard time before the moving system stops into motion.

types of brakes

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Different types of brakes

It is always important for you to know the type of brake your vehicle uses. Brakes can be classified into three classes—Frictional brakes, pumping brakes, and electromagnetic brakes

  • Frictional brakes are the ones that are really common. It can either be in a form of brake pad or brake shoe. It is known to be a spinning device that comes with a still and fixed pad and a spinning surface.It has several configurations but the most common ones are the one that takes account of shoes agreeing to stroke the outer part of a spinning drum (band brake) and a spinning drum that include shoes which are developed to stroke the inner part of a drum.

 This kind of configuration is generally called as a drum brake. Another configuration of it is a pad that  squeezes a rotating disk in which is commonly known as a disk brake. This is the most used in the present as  it is usually applied in modern cars. Drum brakes, however, are only seen on old or vintage and  smaller cars so basically, not many are using it nowadays.

  • A pumping brake is commonly used only where a pump already exists on the mechanism. It can function as a brake that can regenerate into which has the ability to recharge a hydraulic accumulator (a pressure reservoir).
  • An electromagnetic brake is might as well used when an electric motor is at present. Vehicles that have electric motors are electric railroad trains,electric cars, etc. into which uses an electric motor to produce electricity which would be transmitted to a resistor bank and would be converted as heat.

Indicators of brake wear

Noticing the signs of brake wear can help you save up money for repair cost and can also provide you safety. The common signs of brake wear are loud squeaking, annoying noises during the stopping, taking a lot of time to stop, produces a burning smell after stopping, the pedal has an extended time of travel, etc. In some cases, your brake may hardly stop. When experiencing this one, immediately pull over and let the brakes to cool down.

bleed brake fluid

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Maintaining the brakes

First is to check the appearance of the brake pads—whether or not it is fading, or see if the brake light or sensor is on. If it is on, that would be your cue to change the brake pads and might as well replace the sensor. If you think that it is the time for you to replace the pads, you should first take off the wheel. With it being removed, you can now gain an access to the pads and calipers. In taking off the pads, pull the safety pin of the retainer and take it off. Then, remove the spring next. If it is already removed, you can now then replace the pads.

In changing your disc you first just need to remove the two bolts that attach the caliper to the wheel hub. Once it is done, set aside the caliper. Next, take off the two small Phillips-head screws that fasten the disc and you can now then replace it.

In filling up brake fluid, you have to make sure that it would not get lesser than the minimum.The brake fluid reservoir is usually situated in the front part of the trunk.

The simplest way to bleed brake fluid is by using a power bleeder into which one should just fill 1L of brake fluid. Then joined the brake reservoir with the cap and put 20 lbs. of pressure on it. Seeing that the system is now under pressure, you must then pop off the 2 bleed caps starting on the right back part of the wheel. On the nipple, position the drain hose and twist it in order to have it loose. Always remember to secure the flow into a receptacle. If nipples are coming out even if the new fluid hasn’t appeared yet, alternate the colors of the brake fluid e.g. blue to gold and vice versa. You can then see the new color appearing.  Repeat the same process to the left back part, right front part, and to the left front part. After you are done, take off the power bleeder and try to see the fluid level in the brake fluid reservoir as it need to be full and should not be into a minimum level.

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