The brake system is composed of the following basic components: ¾ The “master cylinder” which is located under the hood, and is directly connected to the brake pedal, converts your foot’s mechanical pressure into hydraulic pressure. ¾ Steel “brake lines” and flexible brake hoses. ¾ “Slave cylinders” located at each wheel. ¾ Brake fluid, specially designed to work in extreme conditions, fills the system.
¾ “Shoes” and “pads” are pushed by the wave of cylinders to connect the drums and rotors thus causing drag, which slows the car. In recent years, brakes have changed greatly in design. Disc brakes, used for years for front wheel applications, are fast replacing drum brakes on the rear of modern cars. This is generally due to their simpler design, lighter weight and better braking performance.
The greatest advantage of disc brakes is that they provide significantly better resistance to “brake fade” compared to drum braking systems. Brake fade is a temporary condition in which very little friction is produced by the brake shoes or pads, regardless of how much pressure is applied to the pedal causing the brake to become ineffective.
Disc brakes allow greater air ventilation (cooling) compared to drum brakes. Drum brakes are not internally ventilated because if they were, water could accumulate in them. Disc brakes can rapidly fling off any water that they are exposed to, so they can be well ventilated.