Home > Everything You Need to Know About Your Emergency Brake

Brakes

When it comes to a car’s emergency brake, oftentimes new and experienced drivers don’t know how or when to use it. However, the emergency brake is very important for the safety of you, your passengers, and other drivers on the road, and can even play a part in increasing the life of your vehicle’s transmission. Keep reading to discover everything you need to know about your emergency brake.

driver engaging emergency brake

The Importance of Emergency Brakes

There are several reasons why your emergency brake is important. Not only does engaging the emergency brake give your car added stability and keep your car from rolling down hills, it also allows you to stop your vehicle in the event of primary brake failure and even helps extend the useful life of your transmission.

How to Use Your Emergency Brake

To use your emergency brake, use your primary brakes to bring your vehicle to a complete stop. Once your vehicle is fully stopped, set the emergency brake. Once the emergency brake is set, put your car in park, and turn

What to Do if Your Brakes Fail

Your car’s brakes are one of the most imperative parts of your vehicle and safety. If not properly maintained on a regular basis, your brakes could fail, resulting in a shocking and potentially dangerous experience. While we hope this never happens, preparing yourself for such a situation can help you, your passengers, and other drivers stay safe.

brakes working properly die to regular auto maintenance

7 Tips to Remember if Your Brakes Fail

First, don’t panic! Staying calm will help you to remember and follow the steps below in order to safely stop your vehicle.

  1. Keep a firm grip on the steering wheel with both hands and take your foot off the gas pedal.
  2. Turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers to steer clear.
  3. If you have a manual transmission, start slowly downshifting so the engine can brake for you. If you downshift too quickly, the car may begin to skid just when you need to maintain as much control as necessary.
  4. Pump your brakes hard and fast. In cars without anti-lock brakes (ABS), this can

When you notice your car making a screeching or squealing sound when braking, it’s important to bring your car to a professional as soon as possible. The noise may not prevent you from bringing your car to a stop, but it does point to a bigger underlying problem. Check out these possible causes of the annoying noise.

  • Worn brake pads
  • Rusted brake rotors
  • Glazed rotors and pads

mechanic repairing worn brake pad

1. Worn Brake Pads

Brake pads are the heartbeat of your car’s braking system and comprise a steel backing attached to a friction material. When you brake, hydraulic pressure is produced, causing the brake pads to clamp down on the brake discs. This creates friction that slows the vehicle. If the friction material gets worn out, a high-pitched sound will be produced when the brake pads come into contact with the discs.

2. Rusted Brake Rotors

With continued use, your car’s brake rotors lose their smoothness. Rust and debris may accumulate on their surface, thus causing a screeching sound when you brake. If this

Disc Brakes vs Drum Brakes: What’s the Difference?

The braking system is a very important part of your vehicle. It also faces a lot of normal wear-and-tear and requires routine service. Keep reading to learn more about how your brakes work, the difference between disc and drum brakes, and when you should have them serviced.

mechanic installing disc brake on vehicle

What are Disc Brakes?

Newer vehicles usually have a disc brake system. Disc brakes are more common than drum brakes, but some vehicles use both braking systems. These brakes can be found on one or both axles, depending on the vehicle. Disc brakes consist of three main parts: the rotor, caliper, and brake pads.

When you step on the brakes in your vehicle, the caliper causes the brake pads to squeeze the rotor. This creates friction which then slows the vehicle. The pros tend to outweigh the cons when it comes to disc brakes:

Pros

  • More stopping power/shorter stopping distance
  • Better performance in rain and snow
  • Less likely to lock up during heavy braking
  • Easier to service
  • Self-cleaning
  • Less grabbing/pulling
  • Consistent performance due to better heat management

While you may not know exactly how your car’s brakes function, ensuring that they work properly is essential in keeping you, your passengers, and other drivers safe. Keep reading to learn more about brakes, how they work, and why proper brake maintenance is imperative.

properly maintained car brake stopping vehicle

How do Brakes Work?

In order for a vehicle in motion to come to a stop, it must eliminate the kinetic energy. When a driver pushes down on the brakes, the car is able to use the force of friction to transform the kinetic energy to heat. When you step on the brakes, the hydraulic system in place multiplies the force of your foot on the brake pedal into enough force to stop the car.

Disc Brakes and Drum Brakes

Brakes are usually one of two types: disc brakes or drum brakes. Disc brakes are comprised of brake discs, calipers, and brake pads. Drum brakes are comprised of a brake drum and brake shoes. In most new car models, disc brakes are used for the front wheels and drum brakes