How Do Car Brakes Work?

Mechanic Adjusting Brake Pad

Interested to learn how a brake system works as well as how you can best care for your brakes? There are plenty of components that go into a brake system. And since Buick, GMC are built with your safety in mind, there’s plenty of advanced technology used to ensure every part is working properly. If not, your vehicle will alert you of a malfunction. If you want to learn more about how a brake system works, trust our service team at Texan GMC Buick near Houston to help.

How Does the Brake System Work?

Your vehicle’s brakes are your first line of safety. In order to know more about brakes, you’ll need to know about the different types: disc and drum. There’s also a handbrake. Here is a breakdown of how they work:

How Disc Brakes Work

If you look through the hubcap on one of your wheels, you can often see a metal disc on the inside. When you press on the brake pedal, a brake disc pad is applied to the disc brake which will slow the vehicle down and come to a stop. Another way to think about the way these brakes work is by looking at the disc brake system on a bicycle.

How Drum Brakes Work

Some vehicles have drum brakes on their rear wheels. These are built inside of the wheel and have two brake shoes that are pushed in and out by pistons. These pistons are located inside of a cylinder and when the brakes are applied, brake fluid will enter the cylinder causing it to push out the pistons and connect the shoes with the drum. This will stop the vehicle.

How the Handbrake Works

Typically, the handbrake is found inside of the vehicle between the front seats. This is intended for emergency situations and is entirely mechanical. This means it doesn’t use brake fluid like a car’s standard brake system. If you pull the handbrake, the lever system will pull on a pair of cables that puts the brakes on the back wheels. As you pull the lever upward, the handbrake tightens more.

How to Care for Your Brakes

The best way to care for your brakes is by having your vehicle’s brake system checked at least once a year. In between these checkups, there are a few tasks you can keep in mind when cruising through Porter. Here’s what you can do:

  • Watch and listen for the warning signs that there may be something wrong.
  • Avoid braking when drivers in front of you are braking unnecessarily. 
  • Coast to slow down before you apply the brakes. 
  • Have your brake fluid levels checked often and replaced when needed. 

Signs You Need Your Brakes Checked

There are a few signs to remember that will let you know if your brakes are working properly or not. If you hear, feel, or see one of these signs, be sure toschedule a service appointment asap. Here are the signs to be aware of:

  • The brake light is on. 
  • There’s squeaking or grinding sounds when you brake. 
  • You notice fluid is leaking. 
  • You smell something burning from your vehicle.
  • The vehicle bounces when you stop short. 

Visit Texan GMC Buick for Expert Brake Service

Not sure when you last had your brakes checked? Contact our team at Texan GMC Buick to schedule an appointment. We can help you get your vehicle in great working order for your New Caney trips.


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