Brake Company Publishes DIY Car Enthusiast Guide “How Do Auto Brakes Work”

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Goodyear Brakes helps car enthusiasts learn more about how automobile brakes work whether they want to save money, increase performance or restore a vehicle.

Modern car brakes are remarkably complex components of electronics and engineering. Understanding the parts and how they work together helps people manage braking system maintenance and repairs.

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The automotive experts at Goodyear Brakes offer some tips for assessing the health of a vehicle’s braking system, plus advanced solutions for addressing issues. The new line of Goodyear Brakes provides premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads, and hardware for today’s vehicles, from daily drivers to SUVs and light trucks. This brake line is backed by a nationwide warranty, decades of production experience, and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The Goodyear Brakes product line offers ideal solutions for almost every braking need – whether drivers want to save money on vehicle repairs, upgrade performance, or restore a car.

“Understanding the main components of your car’s brake system, including the rotors, brake pads, calipers, and hardware, will help you manage maintenance and repairs,” said Wally McCarty, SVP of Business Development for Goodyear Brakes. “At Goodyear Brakes, we help enthusiasts and DIY-ers learn about and maintain their vehicle’s brake system themselves. We have the right products for almost every vehicle and will deliver them to your home.”


Wooden Block Brakes – The First Brakes

Brakes are older than automobiles themselves. The earliest wooden block brakes were used to control horse-drawn carriages in the early 19th century. A wooden block brake is a piece of wood attached to a lever. When something pushes the lever, the wood piece blocks the carriage-wheel. Wooden block brakes became obsolete with the introduction of rubber tires in the late 1800s because the blocks would wear the tires down.

Mechanical Drum Brakes – The Earliest Modern Braking System

Mechanical drum brakes, pioneered by Maybach and Renault, are the direct forerunners of modern braking systems. With drum brakes, brake shoes exert radial pressure inside the drum assembly. The resulting friction causes the vehicle to slow down. To this day, many cars have drum brakes for their rear wheels.

Early Disc Brakes – The New Standard

As early as 1902, the UK’s Lanchester Motor Company pioneered disc brakes, the successor to drum brakes. While they were safer and more efficient than drum brakes, early disc brakes had many shortcomings. They were made of copper and were expensive. When engaged, disc brakes emit a harsh screeching sound. Early disc brakes wore out on the dusty, rough surfaces of early 20th-century roads. By the 1950s, disc brakes became cheap and reliable enough to fit a wide variety of vehicles. To this day, the cost difference between disc and drum brakes results in many budget cars using drum brakes on their rear axles.

ABS – Brakes Go Electronic

An Anti-lock Braking System is an electronic system that prevents wheels from locking up. Before ABS was implemented, drivers had to control the braking force manually. If too much pressure was exerted, the wheels would lock up and cause the vehicle to skid dangerously. ABS systems continually monitor and regulate braking pressure to prevent it from exceeding the brake lock threshold. The ABS works with the hydraulic disc braking system to ensure the car stops safely and does not skid.


Auto brakes are part of an entire system designed to ensure a car stops after the brake pedal is engaged. The main components of a braking system include:

– Brake pedal

– Master brake cylinder

– Brake lines

– Brake calipers

– Brake pads

– Brake rotors

– Braking fluid

– The anti-lock braking system (ABS)


Most modern systems use disc brakes. When the brake pedal is engaged, disc pads push up against the disc rotors, causing friction to slow the car. A brake system’s parts work together quickly to generate friction, stop the wheels from spinning and bring the vehicle to a halt.

1. Brake pedals are designed to be force multipliers. Through mechanical leverage (pressing the pedal,) they amplify the leg’s force by order of magnitude. This force is then transmitted to the master cylinder.

2. A metal rod connects the pedal to the master brake cylinder containing hydraulic brake fluid. When the pedal is pushed, the piston in the brake cylinder depresses.

3. Once the piston drops, pressure builds in the cylinder and forces the brake fluid to move through the brake lines toward each axle’s calipers.

4. The calipers transmit hydraulic pressure by forcing the brake pads onto the brake rotors. The friction between the pads and the rotors slows the car.

5. As the car slows, friction from the braking process converts the kinetic energy in motion into heat. Brake pads are made from a unique material that withstands high temperatures—up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit.

For more information about Goodyear Brakes, visit, call 877.GET.BRKS (877.438.2757) and on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads, and the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a nationwide warranty, decades of production experience, and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. Brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes, and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for their products when subjected to improper application installation or accident.

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