Comparing Disc And Drum Brakes


Disc and drum brakes are the two main types of brakes used in consumer vehicles. While both serve the same purpose and slow down a vehicle's speed, they do so in a different manner, offering different benefits over each other. Understanding the differences between these types of brakes, and determining which type your vehicle uses, can help you make informed decisions about the service and performance of your vehicle.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are made up of a flat disk that is attached to the wheel, and spins while you drive. When you press down on the brake pedal, the brake's calipers, which are clamps that fit over the actual brake, will create friction with the disc, which will in turn slow down the wheel.

Disc brakes have not been available on the market for as long as drum brakes, and are more expensive to install. However, their higher price tag brings with it the benefits of higher durability, longer lifespans, and better performance in wet and poor conditions. For this reason, most new modern cars now come equipped with four disc brakes.

Drum Brakes

Drum brakes are made out of an open cup, or drum, on its side that is attached to the wheel. Pressing down on the brake pad will extend calipers against the drum, which in turn presses against the wheel and slows down the vehicle.

Drum brakes used to be the only type of brake used in consumer vehicles. However, they do not dissipate heat very well, and as such will wear out very quickly, which in turn translates to more maintenance and a higher likelihood of failure in the long run. Additionally, the drum allows for snow and water to collect on your brake pads, reducing their effectiveness in poor weather conditions. Older vehicles will likely have four drum brakes installed on them.

Which Does Your Vehicle Have?

Most new cars sold today have disc brakes installed on their front wheels, as these brakes perform much of the work and will provide the entire car with the benefits associated with disc brakes.

You can check your tires to see what type of brakes you have if you're unsure. Disc brakes will have their calipers visible, usually on the further back portion of the wheel, while drum brakes will not have a visible caliper and will simply look like a large, round circle set behind your hubcaps. This can be important information to know while working on your vehicle or taking it in to be serviced. Shops like Care Muffler & Brake Shop can help you with all of your brake repair needs.


2 April 2015

maintaining the brakes on your car

When is the last time you had your brakes checked? Are you waiting until you hear the brake pads grinding into the rotors before you do anything to replace them? Does your car pull to one side when you press on the brakes? Do you feel a shimmying in your steering wheel and brake pedal as you press the pedal to stop? If you have any of these issues, it is time for you to learn how to care for the brakes on your car effectively. Taking preventative measures and getting repair work done before serious problems arise will save you money over the years.