Auto Repair Traverse City MI: 231-421-6368

Your Car’s Brake System Explained

Your car could be equipped with either disc or drum brakes – or a combination. Typically, car manufacturers use disc brakes on the front. The read brakes could be either disc or drum – and all of that depends on the car manufacturer.

The entire brake system on your car also includes the parking brake, power brake booster and master cylinder (located under the hood) and on more current vehicle, the anti-lock system and valves.

When you step on the brake pedal, you are actually pushing against a plunger in the master cylinder, which forces hydraulic oil (brake fluid) through a series of tubes and hoses or brake lines. That fluid is pushed to the brake cylinder attached to every wheel.
The brake fluid may be directed through many twists and turns on its way to the wheel cylinder, but it never loses its pressure.

It is very important that the fluid is pure liquid and that there is no air bubbles in it. Air can compress which causes sponginess in the pedal and severely reduced braking efficiency. If air is suspected, then the system must be bled to remove the air. There are “bleeder screws” at each wheel cylinder and caliper for this purpose.


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