Disc Brakes

Disc Brakes

If you’ve ever wondered about the types of brakes on cars today, most cars today have disc brakes on their front wheels although some may have them on all four. This is the part of the system which actually stops the car. The primary reason why they are widely used today is that discs provide reliable braking in all types of weather and terrain. Additionally, unlike rim brakes, discs aren’t compromised if you hit a hole or bump in the road.


Disc brakes generate the ability to stop your car even in the worst condition due to their rotors. The rotors are attached to wheel hubs and calipers attached to the frame which contain pads. Disc brakes use either metallic or ceramic pads which are not affected by water, mud or heat to a great extent. In some cases, disc brakes may use hydraulics for even greater stopping power.

The major components of a disc brake are the pads, the caliper which contains a piston, and the rotor which is mounted to the hub. It may help to visualize a disc brake like bicycle brakes. Bike brakes feature a caliper which pushes the brake pads against the wheel, slowing the bike down. In a car, the pads squeeze the rotor and the force is transmitted to the wheel. The friction which occurs between the pads and the disc is responsible for slowing down or stopping the car completely. Because friction generates heat, most car disc brakes are vented to prevent overheating.


Although not every car features a single caliper disc brake, they are common in today’s recent car models. The benefits of this type of brake is that it is self-centering and adjusting. The caliper in the brake is able to slide so that it naturally moves to the center each time that the brake is applied. Also, since there is not a spring present to pull the brake pads away from the disk, the pads stay in light contact with the rotor and will be able to quickly stop the car as needed.

Types of Disc Brakes

The two types are mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical brakes use the same cables that are found on V-brakes. They offer the advantage of being easy to install and adjust, lighter weight, and less complicated maintenance. However, mechanical disc breaks are prone to cable stretch , rust, and debris buildup that may affect the system and require more frequent care.

Hydraulic disc brakes feature a closed system of hoses containing a fluid used to operate the brakes. The advantage of this system is that it is sealed against water, dirt, and debris. They also have a smooth feel and a great amount of gripping power. However, hydraulic brakes have to be able to withstand high pressure so they require expert set-up and frequent inspections to work properly.While either type of disc brake may be present in a car depending on the manufacturer, this type of brake offer reliable stopping power to drivers in varying weather conditions.