Brake Parts Explained

Pads, Discs, & Calipers

When you visit the auto shop for brake repair, and they start talking about the pads, calipers, rotors, and discs, do you know what they mean? At Austin's Automotive Specialists in Hutto, Texas, we don't expect everyone to be an automotive expert. That's why we're sharing our knowledge to help you better understand vehicle repairs. Keep reading for a basic understanding of the main brake components.

Brake Pads

The brakes function by creating friction. Parts squeeze together to stop the wheels from spinning. To buffer the squeezing and create a smooth stopping experience, brake pads fit between the discs and calipers on each wheel. When you engage the brakes, it's the pads that make contact with the discs to generate friction. That causes them to wear down over time, which is why they need regular service. You don't want to drive around without brake pads, or your car might not stop at all!

Brake Rotors/Discs

The discs, also known as the rotors, are the large circular parts of the braking system visible behind the wheels. They might be bigger or smaller on different cars, depending on their size and level of performance. Large discs are used on high-performance vehicles, while most daily drivers are outfitted with smaller ones that get the job done just fine. Sometimes, grooves and rings are visible on the discs, which is a typical result of wear. When the discs are unevenly worn, it's a good reason to get professional repairs as this could affect how smooth your vehicle comes to a stop.

Brake Calipers

Calipers are the strong center of the braking system. They are responsible for the clamping action that squeezes the pads against the discs, which generates friction and stopping power. Generally, the calipers on each wheel should outlast the pads, but that's only true when the owner keeps up with regular maintenance. Ignoring brake repair may damage the calipers and shorten their lifespan. A professional can inspect your car's calipers during normal brake repair to tell you how much life they have left.

Have more questions about the braking system in your car? There's more to it than these three parts. Austin's Automotive Specialists in Hutto, Texas, can give you the full explanation. Just stop by our shop!