A precise study of brakes, its classification, and spare parts

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Today’s vehicle braking system has evolved from a long drift in the technology. They involve many different components working together to help you to stop and maneuver your vehicle in a controlled manner. The entire braking system of the vehicle includes master cylinder, servo, brake calipers, brake fluid and cylinders, disks, drums, pads, and shoes. There are mainly three popular braking systems used in the market: Disk brakes, Drum brakes, and Hand brakes.

Let’s take a dig at each of the components in a brake system:

Master cylinder

The master cylinder is located in the engine compartment on the firewall, directly in front of the driver’s seat. The master cylinder in a vehicle is actually two completely separate master cylinders in one housing, each handling two wheels. This way if one side fails, you will still be able to stop the car. There is a warning indication given on the dash of your vehicle notifying if either side fails, alerting you to the problem. Master cylinders have become very reliable and rarely malfunction.

Brake fluids

Brake fluid is a type of hydraulic fluid used in brake applications for automobiles and light trucks. The created fluid pressure is transferred to wheels through hydraulic lines for the effective braking mechanism. Brake fluid is also designed to protect against corrosion of the system materials it contacts, however, those corrosion inhibitors deplete over time.

Brake lines

The brake fluid travels from the master cylinder to the wheels through a series of steel tubes and reinforced rubber hoses. And these are known as brake lines.

Other components in the hydraulic system can be listed as Proportioning valve or equalizer valve, pressure differential valve, combination valve, and electronic brake force distribution.

Types of popular brake systems

Disk brakes

Disk brakes wear longer, are less affected by water, are self-adjusting, self-cleaning, less prone to grabbing or pulling and stop better than any other system around. The main components of a disk brake are the Brake Pads, Rotor, Caliper and Caliper Support.

Drum brakes

As I have explained in the above paragraph, disk brakes are the most reliable braking system. But why still cars are manufactured with drum brake systems? The reason is cost. The main reason is the parking brake system.  On drum brakes, adding a parking brake is the simple addition of a lever, while on disk brakes, we need a complete mechanism, in some cases, a complete mechanical drum brake assembly inside the disk brake rotor!  Parking brakes are completely a separate set of braking in the vehicles which won’t use the hydraulics. Drum brakes consist of a backing plate, brake shoes, brake drum, wheel cylinder, return springs and an automatic or self-adjusting system.

Parking brakes

The parking brakes are also called as hand brakes. They may be situated as a lever just left the side of the driver or at the foot also. It controls the rear brakes through a series of steel cables that are connected to either a hand lever or a foot pedal. The idea of keeping the parking brakes in the vehicles is to bypass hydraulic system completely so that the vehicle can be brought to a stop even if there is a total brake failure.


So are the brake parts and types of brakes used in the vehicle brake system. Now you must be able to understand what the brakes systems components are and their functions.

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