What are the Parts of a Car Brake System?

what are the parts of brake system

Every driver relies on the car’s brake system for safety, but what goes into stopping your vehicle? In this guide, we will dive into the crucial components that ensure your ride comes to a halt when you need it to.

The brake system of a car can be divided into mainly two types: disc brake and drum brake.
The disc brake is composed of brake rotor, brake pad, and brake caliper.
The drum brake is composed of brake drum, brake shoe, and wheel cylinder.
In addition, there are some other hardware and accessories in the brake system, such as the master cylinder, brake line, and brake fluid. These are also very important for the brake system.

Let’s delve deeper into each component, unraveling their roles and importance in the brake system.

Brake systems are crucial for vehicle safety, allowing drivers to control the speed and bring the vehicle to a stop. There are several types of brake systems, each designed for specific applications and operating principles. Here are the primary types:

  • Hydraulic Brakes: Used in cars and motorcycles, they use brake fluid to move pads that slow the vehicle.
  • Mechanical Brakes: Use cables to apply brakes, common in bicycles and some cars’ parking brakes.
  • Pneumatic (Air) Brakes: Air-powered, mainly for buses and trucks, using compressed air to apply pressure.
  • Electromagnetic Brakes: Use magnetic force for braking, found in electric vehicles and industrial machines.
  • Regenerative Brakes: Convert kinetic energy to electrical energy, mainly in electric and hybrid vehicles.
  • Disc Brakes: Use calipers to squeeze pads against a disc, common in modern vehicles.
  • Drum Brakes: Brake shoes press against a rotating drum, seen in older or smaller vehicles.

Today let’s focus on Disc Brake Components and Drum Brake Components:

disc brake system

The main components of a disc brake system include brake pad, brake disc, brake caliper brake lines, pistons, brake fluid, master cylinder, and brake booster:

Brake Pad

The friction material presses against the brake disc. When the brake is applied, the pads clamp on the rotating disc to create friction, slowing down the vehicle.

brake pad

Brake Disc(Rotor)

The circular disc rotates with the wheel. Brake pads press against it to create the friction needed to stop the vehicle.

brake disc.jpg

Brake Caliper

Holds the brake pads and presses them against the disc. Brake calipers can be floating or fixed, depending on the design.

brake caliper

Brake Lines

These are the tubes and hoses that carry brake fluid from the master cylinder to the calipers.

brake line

Master Cylinder

This device converts the mechanical pressure (from your foot on the brake pedal) into hydraulic pressure by pushing brake fluid through the system.

master cylinder

Brake Booster

Amplifies force from the brake pedal to the master cylinder, making braking easier with less effort.

brake booster

Brake Fluid

This hydraulic fluid transfers the force from the brake pedal to the caliper pistons, enabling the brake pads to clamp onto the rotor.


Located inside the calipers, pistons move outwards to press the brake pads against the rotor when hydraulic pressure is applied through the brake lines.

drum brake system

The main components of a drum brake system include brake drum, brake shoe, brake wheel cylinder, brake lining, and other accessories:

Brake Drum

A cylindrical drum that rotates with the wheel. The inside surface of the drum acts as the braking surface.

brake drum

Brake Shoe

These are curved pieces with friction material on one side. When the brakes are applied, the shoes press outward against the inside of the brake drum to slow the wheel.

brake shoe

Brake Wheel Cylinder

This hydraulic cylinder expands with brake fluid pressure, pushing the brake shoes against the drum.

brake wheel cylinder

Brake Lining

The friction material attached to each brake shoe. This material creates the necessary friction against the drum to stop the vehicle.

brake lining

Return Spring

These springs pull the brake shoes back into their resting position when the brake pedal is released, disengaging the brakes.

Adjuster Mechanism

Automatically adjust the position of the brake shoes as they wear down to keep the brakes effective.

Backing Plate

Provides a solid base for the other components. The brake shoes, wheel cylinder, and other hardware are mounted to this plate.

In the complex automotive parts world, the brake system is the most important for vehicle safety. Every component is significant for safe and reliable driving.

For brake parts wholesalers and distributors, it is necessary to understand the function and maintenance of brake parts, so as to provide better service to your clients.

As a leading supplier of high-quality brake parts, we are committed to enhancing vehicle safety and performance. Our expertise in the industry allows us to offer not just products, but comprehensive solutions and support for all your braking needs.

Whether you’re looking to stock up on the latest in braking technology or need advice on the best parts for your inventory, we’re here to help.

Any Other Questions, Leave Messages Here!

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Eric Ding

Hi, I'm Eric, the founder of GDST Auto Parts, a family-run business, and we are a professional brake parts manufacturer in China. With 20 years' experience of production and sales, we have worked with 150+ clients from 80+ countries. I'm writing this article to share some knowledge about brake parts with you.

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