2021 Lexus IS

How Do Car Brakes Work?

Have you ever wondered, “How does the brake system work?” Learn how the multiple mechanisms and instruments in your car’s brake system work together to keep you safe on the Palm Springs roads with the service center at Shottenkirk Desert Lexus. We’ll also show you how to care for your brakes, so you know when it’s time to visit our service center and get quality brake service. 



Brake System Components 

How do car brakes work to keep you safe on your Palm Desert commute? To answer this, you’ll need to understand how the different components of the brake system work together. 

  • Disc Brakes: If you look through the hubcap on your wheels, you’ll see a metal disc inside. When you press the brake pedal, this applies a brake disc pad to the brake disc, which causes the car to slow down and eventually come to a stop.
  • Drum Brakes: Some cars will have drum brakes on the rear wheels. Drum brakes are a little different than disc brakes in the sense that they are built inside the wheel and have two brake shoes that are pushed in and out by the pistons, which are inside the cylinder. Applying the brakes allows brake fluid to enter the cylinder. The cylinder then pushes out the pistons, and the shoes connect with the drum, bringing the car to a stop. 
  • Handbrake: You can usually find the handbrake in between the front seats inside the car. This brake is for emergency braking and doesn’t use brake fluid since it’s entirely mechanical. When you pull the handbrake, the lever system pulls a pair of cables, putting the brakes on the back wheels. The handbrake will tighten as you pull it upward. 

Car Brake Maintenance Tips

Now that you know how the car brake system works, you can learn how to properly care for your brakes. You should have your brakes and brakes pads checked at least once a year. For the rest of the time, here are some things you can do regularly to keep an eye on your brakes: 

  • Listen and watch for anything that looks or sounds unusual about your brakes.
  • Try not to brake when drivers in front of you are unnecessarily braking. 
  • Before applying the brakes, coast to slow down and come to a stop. 
  • Replace your brake fluids when necessary and have them checked. 

Signs You Need Brake Service

If you notice any of the following signs, it may be time get your vehicle serviced: 

  • You notice the brake light on your dashboard flashing
  • Squeaking or grinding occurs when braking 
  • Fluid is leaking
  • There is a burning smell from your vehicle
  • When you come to a quick stop, the vehicle bounces

If you notice any of these or other unusual signs, then schedule brake service with Shottenkirk Desert Lexus near Indio. 

Get Brake Service at Shottenkirk Desert Lexus 

Hopefully, you’re not still wondering, “How do car brakes work,” and we’ve answered your brake system questions. Contact us to get your brakes checked or serviced and get back on the Cathedral City roads in no time.

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Shottenkirk Desert Lexus 33.784476, -116.4779028.