Brakes and Traction Control
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The first step to finding the right parts for your car is knowing whether you have a disc or drum brake system. Both systems use leverage, hydraulic force, and friction to stop your car, but they go about creating friction a little differently.
Leverage is provided when you press the brake pedal, forcing a piston into the master cylinder which is filled with hydraulic fluid and connected to slave, or wheel, cylinders. The master cylinder generates more force to provide better stopping power.
Hydraulic force is necessary to let drivers stop their cars without doing all the work. Otherwise, your stopping power would be directly tied to how hard you can push the brake pedal. Instead, when the pedal is pressed, fluid is forced from the master cylinder into the smaller wheel cylinders. Because the amount of fluid remains the same while being pushed into smaller cylinders, the pressure builds, allowing the force applied to the pedal to be multiplied and split between the vehicle's different wheels. This is how the master cylinder generates enough hydraulic force to stop your car. This force is used to press pads against a rotor disc, or to press shoes against a drum, depending on what system your vehicle uses. In a disc system, the pad is held in contact with the rotor, which generates enough friction to stop your car. In a drum system, the shoes press against the inside of the drums, creating a similar amount of friction.
Friction stops your car by converting kinetic energy into heat. Pads can reach temperatures exceeding 950 degrees Fahrenheit. That's why they're made with heat resistant alloys, ceramics, and composite materials. While the materials are heat resistant, they aren't indestructible. Over time, the friction will wear out your brake components. Worn components have less stopping power, and they can even cause more damage to your car down the road. Think about how interconnected your vehicle's brake system is. If one part is worn, that worn part will cause increased and accelerated wear on the other parts.
Both disc and drum systems are frequently equipped with a host of other parts like ABS components and power boosters which assist the driver in stopping the vehicle.
A properly functioning traction control system (TCS) is vital for safe driving, but if even one component is damaged, the whole system can fail. Damage to any TCS hardware, sensors, or electrical components can shut down the system and worsen your ride's handling. Stay in your lane with regular TCS maintenance.
If you're wondering what parts you need or which brake system your vehicle is equipped with, just look behind the tires and rims and it will be obvious. Be sure to check the front and rear wheels. Some cars have a mix of the two, with discs up front and drums on the rear axle. Once you know the parts you need, it's easy finding the perfect fit for your vehicle. Just enter your vehicle's year, make, model, and engine, and we'll find the right parts for you.
AutoZone.com is a one stop shop for any parts you need for your vehicle's brakes. We carry aftermarket and performance brakes designed to fit your vehicle from trustworthy brands like ACDelco, Brembo, and Duralast. From pads and rotors to more specialized parts like the master cylinder or hardware, we have the best automotive parts at the right price for all major makes and models. Buy parts from AutoZone.com for your vehicle's brakes and traction control system. Get a free shipping with next day delivery or pick up your parts today at local AutoZone near you.
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