How the Braking System Works

Braking systems haven’t changed too dramatically in the history of automobiles. Like the first cars, most systems today use friction to slow the car down. Simple levers have been replaced with hydraulics, which apply greater pressure to the brakes for better stopping power, but the basic principle remains the same.

Conventional brakes work by applying a brake pad to a braking surface, which generates friction. The car slows as its forward motion (kinetic energy) is converted into heat energy. Because the friction between the two surfaces creates heat, the braking system is designed to wear slowly and dissipate heat quickly. The brake system needs regular maintenance to keep you safe on the road.

Most cars have three ...

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