Types of Car Brakes

The 4 Main Types of Car Brakes

Brakes are perhaps the most integral part of car safety. Ever since the inception of cars, brakes have played a vital role in ensuring driver and passenger safety. To date, the function of these brakes remains the same. However, the modern age has witnessed the introduction of some advanced brake types. We will go through the main types of car brakes, their functions, and how they differ from each other.

Types of Car Brakes

Vehicle brakes have evolved greatly over the years. Additionally, the modern types of brakes, combined with technology make the job a lot more effective and easier. However, the other types aren’t far behind. That said, let’s go through the types of car brakes and learn all about their functions.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are among the most common types of braking systems found in modern cars. They use a hydraulic system that applies pressure to a brake caliper, which then squeezes the brake pads onto a rotor. The friction created between the brake pads and the rotor slows down or stops the car.


  • Disc brakes provide excellent stopping power, especially at high speeds.
  • They are more durable than drum brakes, require less maintenance and last longer.
  • These dissipate heat better, making them less prone to overheating and brake fade.


  • These types are more expensive to manufacture and install as compared to drum brakes.
  • They are prone to squealing noises when they wear down, which can be annoying.

Drum Brakes

These use a set of shoes that expand outward to press against the inside of a drum. The friction created between the shoes and the drum slows down or stops the car.


  • Drum brakes are relatively less expensive than disc brakes.
  • They are self-adjusting, meaning they don’t require frequement adjusting as disc brakes.


  • Drum brakes are less efficient at stopping the car than disc brakes.
  • They are prone to overheating and braking fade, especially in heavy use.
  • These are more difficult to service and maintain than disc brakes.

Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS)

The anti-lock braking system (ABS) is a safety feature that prevents the wheels from locking up during emergency braking situations. Additionally, It is among the common types of car brakes. ABS uses sensors to detect when a wheel is about to lock up and modulates the brake pressure to prevent it from happening.


  • ABS improves vehicle stability and steering control during braking.
  • It reduces the stopping distance on slippery surfaces.
  • ABS also prevents the wheels from locking up, which could cause the car to skid.


  • ABS can be expensive to repair and maintain.
  • In some situations, ABS can increase the stopping distance, especially on dry surfaces.

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)

Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) is a technology that distributes brake force between the front and rear wheels to improve braking performance. EBD uses sensors to determine how much brake force is needed for each wheel and adjusts the braking force accordingly.


  • EBD improves braking performance and stability.
  • It reduces the risk of wheel lockup and skidding.
  • Electronic Brakeforce Distribution also helps to maintain better control of the car during sudden stops.


  • EBD can be expensive to repair and maintain.
  • It may not work as well in extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain or snow.


Why Do Some Cars Have 4 Brake Pads?

Some cars have four brake pads because they have a disc brake system with two brake pads per wheel. This setup provides more stopping power and better heat dissipation. On the other hand, some cars have drum brakes, which have one brake pad per wheel. Either way, the main function is to halt the vehicle when you press the car brake pedal.

How Do You Know If Your Brakes are Bad?

Driving with bad braking system can put your safety at risk. Therefore, it is important to know if the brakes are in working order or not. Listed below are some signs of car brakes going bad:

  • Squealing or grinding noise when pressing the braking pedal
  • Reduced braking power
  • Vibration or pulsation in the braking pedal
  • Dashboard warning light
  • Car pulling to one side

These are all the types of car brakes that you needed to know about. Braking system is an integral part of car safety and it is advised to never drive a vehicle with dysfunctional braking system. With the aforementioned information, you can learn all about the different types of brakes and how they function.

Stay tuned for information about major car components and more.

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