What Are the Different Types of Brakes?

Brake failure can lead to deadly vehicle accidents, which is all mechanics stress routine brake inspections, maintenance, and repair. Your brakes must always be functioning and allowing you to stop your vehicle. There are four types of brakes: drum brakes, disc brakes, emergency brakes, and anti-lock brakes (ABS). The two kinds of service brakes are disc and drums, so your vehicle could have one or a combination of both. Additionally, all cars come with e-brakes and anti-lock brakes for an extra layer of protection.

Drum Brakes

Although drum brakes still exist in some cars today, they are the most traditional and straightforward ones. Drum brakes consist of a brake drum added to the inside of the wheel. When the brake pedal is pushed down, hydraulic pressure presses two brake shoes against the brake drum. This action results in friction and causes the car to slow and stop.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are the new and improved brakes that feature an enhanced design; they are most often used today. Disc brakes contain a brake rotor that is fastened to each wheel. It utilizes hydraulic pressure to push the caliper to squeeze the brake pads on the rotor. The friction present in the pads and the rotor causes the vehicle to come to a complete stop. The most appealing disc brakes feature is that it does not overheat as easily as drum brakes.

Emergency Brakes

Emergency brakes, also known as parking brakes, hand brakes, or e-brake, are secondary braking systems that work independently of the service brakes. Almost all emergency brakes are powered by cables that mechanically apply pressure to the wheels. They should always be used when a vehicle is parked but can also be used in emergencies when the service brake fails.

Anti-Lock Brakes

Anti-lock braking systems (ABS) are commonly found in modern vehicles. ABS prevents your wheels from locking up to prevent you from skidding. This feature comes in handy when driving on wet and slippery roads that make you susceptible to hydroplaning.


Each vehicle owner chooses a specific brake type depending on their vehicle's make and model. If you need any of these brakes repaired, our ASE-certified technicians will be happy to assist you. Please give University Tire & Auto a call or visit today!

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