Braking System

The braking system of an automotive vehicle is a critical safety feature designed to slow down or stop the vehicle by converting kinetic energy into heat. There are various types of braking systems, but the most common in modern vehicles is the hydraulic brake system. Here are the key components and functions of a typical automotive braking system:

  1. Brake Pedal:

    • The brake pedal is the foot-operated lever inside the vehicle that the driver presses to engage the brakes.
  2. Master Cylinder:

    • The master cylinder is a hydraulic pump that converts the mechanical force applied to the brake pedal into hydraulic pressure. It contains a piston that pressurizes brake fluid in the brake lines.
  3. Brake Lines:

    • Brake lines are a network of metal or flexible hoses that carry pressurized brake fluid from the master cylinder to the brake calipers or wheel cylinders.
  4. Brake Calipers (Disc Brakes) or Wheel Cylinders (Drum Brakes):

    • In disc brake systems, calipers contain pistons that squeeze brake pads against the brake rotor to create friction and slow down the vehicle.
    • In drum brake systems, wheel cylinders push brake shoes against the brake drum to generate friction and decelerate the vehicle.
  5. Brake Pads (Disc Brakes) or Brake Shoes (Drum Brakes):

    • Brake pads are friction materials that press against the brake rotor in disc brake systems.
    • Brake shoes are friction materials that press against the brake drum in drum brake systems.
  6. Brake Rotors (Disc Brakes) or Brake Drums (Drum Brakes):

    • Disc brakes use brake rotors, which are flat, rotating metal discs that the brake pads press against to create friction.
    • Drum brakes use brake drums, which are cylindrical components that rotate with the wheel. Brake shoes press against the inner surface of the drum to generate friction.
  7. Brake Fluid:

    • Brake fluid is a specially formulated hydraulic fluid that transmits the pressure created by the master cylinder to the brake calipers or wheel cylinders. It has a high boiling point to withstand the heat generated during braking.
  8. Brake Booster (Power Brakes):

    • In power brake systems, a brake booster assists the driver in applying sufficient force to the brake pedal. It uses vacuum pressure or hydraulic pressure to enhance braking force.


  1. When the driver presses the brake pedal, it activates the master cylinder.
  2. The master cylinder pressurizes brake fluid, creating hydraulic pressure in the brake lines.
  3. The hydraulic pressure is transmitted to the brake calipers or wheel cylinders.
  4. In disc brake systems, the calipers squeeze the brake pads against the rotors, creating friction that slows down the vehicle.
  5. In drum brake systems, the wheel cylinders push the brake shoes against the brake drums, generating friction to decelerate the vehicle.
  6. The kinetic energy of the moving vehicle is converted into heat through the friction between the brake components, effectively slowing down or stopping the vehicle.

Regular maintenance, including brake pad/shoe and rotor/drum inspections, fluid checks, and periodic brake system flushes, is crucial for ensuring the effectiveness and safety of the braking system in an automotive vehicle.