Whether it’s a short or a long trip, a car has to slow down and stop more often than you think: at a junction, in front of a pedestrian crossing, at the entrance of a bend. Often, it is not enough to reduce the gas: it requires a driver intervention. And a simple press on the brake pedal engages an ingenious braking system.
How does a braking system work?
Nowadays, most cars have a disc brake on both front wheels. When you depress the brake pedal, the system presses two pads against the rotating wheel. Or more exactly against the cast iron brake disc that is attached to the wheel.
You must know that it takes very strong forces to brake a vehicle. To stop a 1000 kg car that rolls at 130 km / h, you need.
a braking capacity of not less than 200 hp. In addition, the enormous friction between the pads and the disc can lead to temperatures up to 800 ° C. This is why ceramic brake discs are today the latest technological innovation on the market.
Frictions wear out the brake pads. And as used pads are synonymous with danger on the road, current cars are equipped with wear indicators. These are small copper wires, which light a light on the dashboard as soon as they come to the surface due to wear. In addition, the brake pads are mounted in stirrups. These DBA Rotors are visible on more sports cars. That’s why they are often painted in a showy color.
How does a braking system work?
Drum brakes are integrated in the wheel and therefore take up less space. They also do not work with pads mounted on the outside of the wheel, but with jaws that are pushed from the inside against the drum. This is the task of the cylinder, which is located between the brake shoes. As for the springs, they release the jaws as soon as the brake pressure is released.
The front wheels are always the ones that undergo the strongest braking. It makes sense since all the weight of the car slides forward when it slows down. This explains why the braking ratio between the front wheels and the rear wheels is usually 60% – 40%. Since disc brakes carry a higher load than drum brakes, they are usually mounted on the front wheels.
At the rear, there are often drum brakes, although some sports cars are also equipped with disc brakes at the rear wheels.
Differences between ABS braking and conventional braking are mainly related to brake response during emergency braking. The wheels of cars equipped with the first system do not lock. However, this is not the only thing that distinguishes the two systems.
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Steps to follow:
- The ABS braking system works with sensors that communicate with an electronic system to prevent wheel lock and slip, two common phenomena with conventional brakes.
- The ABS system allows, during an emergency braking, to control the direction of the vehicle. Thus, while braking, you can avoid obstacles, which is impossible with conventional brakes.
- As far as their use is concerned, ABS braking is more effective if you press the brake and clutch fully until the vehicle is at a standstill. With conventional brakes, it is recommended to gradually brake to prevent wheel lock.
- Be aware that, on a homogeneous surface, the braking distance is greater with an ABS system than with conventional brakes. However, on uneven surfaces, for example with sand or gravel, the ABS system will respond better and the braking distance will be smaller.
- The main advantage of conventional brakes over ABS is that they are more economical to repair and maintain.
- When you press the brake pedal and the ABS system is activated, you will notice that the pedal is vibrating. Unlike conventional brakes , this does not indicate a problem. This is the normal response of the ABS system.