Automotive Repair Blog: Tips, Facts, and Fixes

The 4 Different Types of Brakes

Brake failure can lead to major vehicle accidents, injuries, and even fatalities. This is why all industry experts stress the importance of regular brake inspections and timely repairs. Your brakes serve the function of slowing down and stopping your car, truck, or SUV. There are different types of brakes we will be discussing today: drum brakes, disc brakes, emergency brakes/parking brakes, and the anti-lock braking system (ABS). The brakes you are most familiar with are your primary braking system; your vehicle will have disc brakes, drum brakes, or a blend of the two. Furthermore, all cars come with secondary brakes, including the e-brakes and anti-lock brakes, for extra protection. 

Drum Brakes 

Drum brakes are the oldest and most traditional type of brakes. Drum brakes have been around for ages, and they can be found on the inside of the wheel. When the brake pedal is compressed, hydraulic pressure presses two brake shoes against the drum. 

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are the newer design of brakes, and they are commonly used today. Disc brakes look like a disc, and they have a rotor that is attached to each wheel. It also utilizes hydraulic pressure to push on the caliper to squeeze the brake pads on the rotor. Disc brakes are more prevalent today because they do not overheat as quickly as drum brakes.

Emergency Brakes

Emergency brakes, also known as parking, hand, or e-brake, work separately from your service brakes. They are powered by cables instead of hydraulic pressure or brake fluid. Your emergency brakes are also called the parking brake because they should always be used when putting your gear in park. They should also be initiated when your service brakes fail.

Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

Anti-lock braking systems are technically more sensor-driven, but they do help your brakes. ABS stops your wheels from locking up to prevent you from skidding in rainy or snowy conditions and hydroplaning. 


If your vehicle requires any type of brake service, our ASE-certified technicians will be glad to assist you with the job. Please call or visit Pro Auto Care for all your auto needs today!