Car Care – Brake System Overview

See-Through Braking System

In this installation of Syncrowerkz Car Care Tips, we’ll talk about your cars’ brake system and how best to care for it. There are a couple of parts to any braking system:

  1. Brake Rotor
  2. Brake Pads / Shoes
  3. Brake Caliper / Drum
  4. Brake Fluid Lines
  5. Brake Master Cylinder
  6. Brake Proportioning Valve
  7. Brake Pedal
  8. Brake Fluid

All of the parts listed above have to work in unison and pull their own weight to complete the braking experience. For any vehicle that comes out of the factory, a braking system will mostly be effective yet silent – Like the Special Forces.

Disc Calipers and Drum Brakes are listed above – But for this installation, we will cover solely the  Caliper, Disc & Pad braking system and leave the Drum, Disc & Shoe at the side for the moment.

Just like the human body, everything is connected to each other. For starters, the Brake Caliper straddles the Brake Disc. In between the Brake Caliper and the 2 large surfaces of the Brake Disc – We have the Brake Pads. This completes the foundation for each corner of the vehicle (Assuming your car runs on disc brakes all around). Following so far? Good! The last part of this puzzle is the presence of Brake Fluid, as indicated in orange and flows across the Brake Caliper. Check out this picture of that exact setup.

Assembly of a Disc Rotor, Pads and Caliper.

Assembly of a Disc Rotor, Pads and Caliper.

Now we’re left with the rest of the parts like the Brake Lines, Master Cylinder, Proportioning Valve, Pedal and Brake Fluid. Here’s how they link up! The Brake Pedal is directly connected to the Brake Master Cylinder, which is equipped with a Proportioning Valve and from there, fluid carrying lines fan out to meet the Brake Lines that connect to the Brake Caliper we spoke about above.

View of Master Cylinder, Brake Lines to Brake Calipers

View of Master Cylinder, Brake Lines to Brake Calipers

The Brake Pedal provides a point of contact / tactility to the entire braking system. We command our vehicles to slow down by pressing down on the Brake Pedal – This swinging motion puts the Master Cylinder into action. The Master Cylinder magnifies the foot pedal pressure onto the Brake Fluid, which then is felt at the side of the Brake Calipers – This makes the caliper appear to squeeze the Brake Pads onto the Brake Discs. This ultimately slows the car down.

 

 

The part of the brake system which is most neglected but most critical is the Brake Fluid. Brake Fluids are designed to handle pressure without compressing, whilst Air / Moisture will not do the same; instead they will vary largely due to temperature and pressure. This is something that a braking system must not have. If there was Air / Moisture in the system, the Brake Pedal would feel soggy and much more effort would be required before the same amount of braking is achieve.

Air acting as a cushion, increasing pedal travel

Air acting as a cushion, increasing pedal travel

When your car is sent for a general servicing with Syncrowerkz, your hydraulic brake fluid will be tested for the amount moisture it has absorbed – This is done with our electronic moisture tester. The amount of air will not be able to be examined until a bleed nipple is cracked and bleeding of the brake system begins.

Everything must work in harmony to keep the system working at its best.

  • The Brake Pads must not be less than the minimum thickness.
  • The Brake Rotors must not be less than minimum thickness nor have score marks.
  • The Brake Lines must not have air in them
  • The Brake Fluid must not have excessive moisture.

Through this, we hope that you’ll be more equipped to handle troubleshooting your cars braking system.