Understanding Your Car’s Braking System For Future Repair

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The automobile is one of the most intricate machines you will ever own and as such, most people who own a car rely on professional mechanics to repair their vehicle when there is a problem.  This is a safe strategy but it is quite possible to repair your own car, especially if the repair entails simply replacing a broken part.

For example, if you are having trouble with your brakes you might be able to save yourself some money by purchasing the part at an auto parts store, a junkyard, or online to a site like CrossDrilledRotors.ca and then going about the repair yourself. Here is a list of potential parts that might need replacing.

Drum Brake Shoe

A drum brake is a type of brake that stops momentum using friction caused by a set of “shoes” (or pads) that press outwardly against the rotating cylinder-part of the brake (called the “drum”).  The shoe can wear down and need replacing (or the brake might fail, which means you can’t stop your car once it is in motion).


Parking Brake Shoe

The parking brake—or emergency brake—of course, is designed to aid in holding a vehicle in place when not in use.  Parking brake shoes, then, are parts installed on cars which have a rear rotor (or disc brakes), common to vehicles manufactured after 1999.  Repairing or replacing this part is important because without it you may not be able to stabilize your parked car (particularly if you have a manual transmission).

Disc Brake

A disc brake is different from a drum brake in that the brake is actually shaped like a disc which uses a squeezing mechanism called a caliper to slow the speed of the disc rotation, in turn slowing the wheels, and the overall momentum of the vehicle.  These do not need replacing often because brake pads help to improve their longevity. However, when you need to replace a disc brake you will have to remove the entire disc and install a new one.

Disc Brake Caliper

The disc brake caliper is the mechanism which stops the disc from rotating.  The calipers sit on either side of the disc and squeeze closed, putting friction on the disc as it turns, helping it to slow down.   There are several parts of the caliper which can need repair or replacing, but make sure that you address them as a problem with your caliper can make it extremely difficult to stop your car from moving.

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