Explaining Brakes

by | Aug 14, 2012 | Automotive

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Disc or drum? What does anti-lock mean? Do you know what your brakes do? Do you know how they work? It’s not meant to be accusatory but it’s easier to deal with cars when you understand how they work. Not everyone needs to know the physics behind such things but for some people it helps. You need good brakes, no matter what car you drive or where you drive it. If you’re driving a sports car through the Rocky Mountains you’ll want good brakes to handle the corners. If you’re driving a family sedan through Northfield, MN you’ll want good brakes to handle traffic and pedestrians.

Not many cars are made with drum brakes anymore, and the few that are only have drums on the rear wheels. Disc brakes are by far and away superior to drums. They apply greater friction and take less damage because they can handle heat better. Disc brakes were introduced in the seventies and while they work on the same principles as drum brakes they do so better.

Brakes work by applying pressure and thus friction to the wheels. The friction provides a force to slow the spinning metal down and the heat generated can damage the brakes and cause them to warp. The other thing that can happen is that the wheels will completely stop spinning and lock. They will lose traction at this point and the car may lose control. This is because there are two types of friction. The first is static friction, this is the friction of an object at rest on another rest, and the other is dynamic or moving friction this is the friction of something sliding across something else. Anyone who’s ever had to drag something knows that static friction is stronger than dynamic. When the tire is rolling on the ground it is actually static friction, if the tire locks on pavement it becomes dynamic friction and the amount of control on the road decreases as the tire is more susceptible to slipping.

Cars go, and stop because of friction, understanding that can help. If you don’t have anti-lock brakes you need to learn to pump your brakes to slow down under control. If you have any worries about the condition of you brakes in Northfield, It is best to take your car to a qualified mechanic to have them checked out.

Brakes Northfield If your concern over your brakes is more about why they’re not working right instead of how they work you might need to see a mechanic. Car Time Auto Center, located in Northfield, MN is a ASE certified care center. It’s not worth risking it driving on poor worn out brake pads; get it taken care of now.

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