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27th January 2022

Superadmin

Brakes - Drums Versus Discs

Brakes are always a vital component of every automobile to stop the vehicle and safeguard it from any kind of damage, accident, or collision. In the past, car manufacturers relied on woodblock brakes, which were adequate for the time. However, sophisticated drum and disc brakes became available as technology advanced, currently used in every car. However, some vehicles utilize only one type of brakes, such as drum brakes or disc brakes, while others employ two kinds of brakes. These are old cars, but there is a significant variation between them.

What are Drum Brakes, and How do Drum Brakes Work?

Drum brake pads, invented in 1902, were the first genuine brakes, consisting of a drum, brake shoes, and a housing connected to the wheel with a master cylinder that can be connected to the brake pedal. The master cylinder is triggered when this brake pedal is pressed, causing the brake shoes to work appropriately by rubbing against the interior of the revolving drum. However, it causes friction, which slows and eventually brings the car to a halt.

It comes with the following advantages.

Less expensive: When it comes to the cost of the drum brakes to the manufacturer, it is pretty low, making it widely used in most vehicles.

Low maintenance: They are slightly easier to be maintained as they are inside a housing, which reduces the chances of corrosion.

Increased durability: They are durable enough to last many years with an increased friction contact area.

What are Disc Brakes, and How do Disc Brakes Work?

Car disc brakes, which were introduced in the same year as drum brakes in 1902, comprise a disc, a piston, and a caliper housing. As the driver presses the brake pedal, hydraulics forces the piston to push the brake pad on one side while pulling the brake pad on the other. However, it was not widely used in automobiles in the early days. They were supposed to have less effective technology, be unreliable, and have large prices, making autos far more expensive than they should be. However, in 1953, these brakes were fitted in one of Jaguar's models and survived longer than drum brakes. They were then used in the mass production of vehicles to date.

Disc brakes come with the following advantages.

All-weather suitable: Even in wet conditions, these brakes perform their best duty and prevent slipping or grabbing.

Requires less effort: With hydraulics, there is less effort needed for the disc brake, leading to greater braking force.

Easy to install: There are pretty minor components in the disc brake, which makes the installation easy enough to change the pads by yourself when required.

Key Differences between Drum and Disc Brakes

The Braking Power

Drum brakes are typically closed, preventing them from being exposed to air. This decreases heat dissipation, resulting in brake fade. As a result, braking power is lost due to overheating. The disc brakes are exposed to the air, allowing heat dissipation and effective braking. This exposure also helps the disc brakes to function in rainy situations.

Braking Method

Both braking systems use a hydraulic mechanism that makes it easier to sustain the braking force.

The brake fluid forces the piston outward for drum braking systems. When this piston is thrust outward, it exerts a force against the brake drum, resulting in friction, which slows and eventually stops the car. In the disc braking system, on the other hand, the brake fluid flows up to the brake caliper, which squeezes the brake pad against the rotor, causing friction.

Maintenance

When the rotor and brake pads contact a disc braking system, the debris on the rotor or the wheel is wiped away, making the system self-cleaning. As this debris builds, it impacts the braking system by reducing friction, resulting in decreased performance. However, there is no path for the accumulated material generated by the brake shoes in the drum brake system to leave the place.

Why do some vehicles use both braking systems?

Both braking systems are advantageous, but they are also disadvantageous in other ways. To eliminate those drawbacks, manufacturers use both the brake and substitute for each other. Axle brakes are often disc brakes because they can distribute heat. Drum brakes are employed in the rear axles because they require more force to lock the wheel when necessary. This makes controlling the car easier. Every mechanic and car expert will advise you to change the brakes after purchasing a used car since they are so significant. But how can you be certain you need to change the brakes immediately? Could it be a flux, or do you have to check it? In that case visit ABE for maintenance of used premium cars.

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