How Disc Brakes Work | Dodge Brake Repair & Service

June 9, 2011  

As a driver, as long as your Dodge stops when you depress the brake – everything’s great, right? Well, not necessarily. By learning about the typical brake system on your car, it is possible that you will notice even a slight change in how well your car reacts when you brake.  Everett Dodge Repair experts at Carson Cars can help diagnose your Dodge brakes.

By catching the normal wear and tear on any portion of the brake system, you can avoid a potential catastrophic disaster when the brakes ultimately fail. Additionally, if the components are properly replaced and maintained, you will ultimately save money!

DISC BRAKES

As the most efficient brake available, the disc brake is used on at least the front of virtually every automobile in manufacture today. The disc brake system is comprised of several components:

Caliper & Support – the most popular types of calipers are floating and fixed. The most affordable option is the single piston floating caliper, which makes it the most popular on all but luxury automobiles. These calipers float in a track on the caliper support to center over the rotor. Hydraulic pressure (brake fluid) presses in opposing directions when you press on the brake, squeezing the rotor:


  1. The piston pushes against the inside brake pad
  2. The caliper pushes against the outside brake pad

Brake Pads – each caliper has 2 brake pads – one on each side of the rotor. Each brake pad has a liner that is bonded or riveted to a metal shoe. Pads must be replaced periodically as the lining wears from use. Since 2003, linings have been made with aramid, a synthetic substitute for the more dangerous asbestos. There is typically a tab that will rub the rotor when the lining has deteriorated – alerting the driver with a high pitched squeal that it is time for brake repair.

Rotor – constructed of iron with precisely machined surfaces where the brake pads contact it, a rotor will wear from the friction experienced during braking. Since the brake pads need a perfectly smooth surface to contact, the rotor is sometimes machined smooth when pads are replaced. In cases of extreme wear, the rotors must be replaced.

It is a good idea to have your brake pads and rotors visually inspected on a regular basis. Each time you have your oil changed is a great reminder to have Everett Brake Repair & Service check the condition of your brakes. You should be able to feel a difference in the brake system long before it becomes a safety hazard or an expensive repair. The key is to look, listen and feel how your car handles – become familiar with how the braking system functions new – and never delay repairs/service!