Car brake repair information 101 to make your vehicle safe

Your car brake knowledge is your safety protection so your vehicle can reach your destination because if it fails, nobody can be blamed except yourself!

There are a few basic car brake repair information that you must learn in order to have your vehicle STOP at the right time. Here are a few brake questions that are assumed to be common brake knowledge:

Can you perform your own brake inspection?

Troubleshoot your brake problems?

Have the necessary emergency brake tools to do brake repair?

List the common brake problems accurately and give it to a brake shop?

If you are unsure if you know the answer to the car brake repair questions above, the following are a short description of some popular brake terminologies below.


Brake drum system

A system whereby a hydraulic (or pushing force of a fluid) is used to push the brake shoes against the brake drum surface which result in slowing the rotation of the drums. In this system, the brake drum connects to your wheel after being rotated by your vehicle axle which in turn is powered by your transmission via the engine. As soon as the brake pedal is depressed, the piston of the master cylinder will send pressure thru your brake lines and move the brake shoes against the drum. The friction created by the drum and shoes will produce the braking (stopping) force to slow down the drum rotation.

Brake rotor system

Similar to the drum system, a brake rotor is utilized instead of the drum which gives a better braking than the drum system. In the former, the braking force is expanding but the brake cylinder capacity is very limited. In the rotor system, the hydraulic force is greater because the caliper used has a bigger braking area which is used to compress the rotor. The rotor circular design also allows it to be made with a higher grade of steel which is not possible for the brake drums. Again the braking principle is the same because the brake rotor holds the wheels and made to stop by compressing it by the brake caliper piston.

You will find that in older vehicles, the drum brakes are widely used at the back of the vehicle and the front rotor is used at the front. Nowadays, with greater braking power required for faster vehicles, all 4 wheels are fitted with 4 rotor braking system. The above braking system is basically the most popular system used in most braking system used in automotive industry.

If you understand these systems, then you should be able to perform your own brake inspection and maintenance required for your vehicle. Lately, with the advent of electronics, the abs brakes were added to improve further the braking safety of your vehicle. If you want to learn this some more, you should search this online by searching the word ABS BRAKES and you should get a long list of information ready to help you. To give you the highlights, here is some important brake information that you should get online as shown below.


Many online brake resources can give the basic brake inspection guidelines that include the following:

  • Checking brake pads and shoes for signs of wear
  • using the proper grade of hydraulic fluids
  • Proper inspection rotor/drum wear and calipers
  • Proper examination of anti-lock brake system

The proper brake inspection and maintenance should also be included.


Most brake system problems can be prevented if you know the symptoms of the following brake problems:

  • Brake lights coming on in the dash.
  • Brake pedal improper operation like spongy, close to the floor, etc.
  • Brake noise when brake pedal is depress
  • Vehicle pulling on one side when brakes are applied
  • Vehicle erratic vibration when brakes are applied
  • Brake rotors getting hot
  • How to diagnose brake fluid leaks

ATS provides 24/7 car brake online information so you can get the fixes for car brake common problems

If you take care of your car brakes and understand car brake repairs, there is no stopping where your vehicle can take you.

ATS car braking TIPS

Most power brakes system used in the vehicles comes from using a vacuum operated booster cylinder where the master cylinder is mounted. If you want to test if the booster cylinder is working try this: With vehicle engine at idle and transmission in park, shut down the engine.

Then start pumping the brake pedal with your foot until the entire vacuum at the booster cylinder is empty. You will notice this when the pedal goes to the floor. Now start up the engine until the brake pedal starts to rise on the highest position. With the engine at idle, depress the brake pedal once. It should go down about an inch. This shows the brake booster is working.

If there is no movement or it goes to the floor, it shows the brake booster is leaking or defective. To be sure, verify that the vacuum hose connected to the brake booster has good vacuum. (You can pour soap solution to the vacuum hose connection to make sure it does not leak).

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