Mechanical Basics

What is Braking System in Automobile?

The Automobiles consist of many devices and types of systems like lighting, Clutch System, Gearbox, Propeller, ignition, air-conditioning system, braking system, etc. Among all these systems, the braking system in Automobile is the most important system to control the moving automobile vehicle. As we all know that the Transmission System in Automobile is continuous process, which require an external system to control, de-accelerating, as well as stopping the moving vehicle too. 

Braking System in Automobile

Braking Systems in Automobile are the combination of interactive parts, which absorbs the energy from the moving parts and with the help of friction between two surfaces; it converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into the heat energy.

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In 1904, Frederick Georg Heath and Redditch created the first hydraulic braking system with the help of handlebar levers and pistons for a one-wheeled bicycle. Later, Ernest Walter Modified it as a four-wheel hydraulic braking system in 1908 and used it in a motor car.

Types of Braking System in Automobile:

We can classify the Braking System of automobile on the basis of Power Source, Frictional Braking Contact, Brake Force Distribution, etc. The different types of braking system are as follows

  1. Foot brake
  2. Handbrake
  3. Internal expanding brakes
  4. External contracting brakes
  5. Mechanical braking system
  6. Power braking system
  7. Vacuum braking system
  8. Air braking system
  9. Hydraulic braking system
  10. Electric braking system
  11. Self-energizing brakes
  12. Power-assisted braking system
  13. Anti Lock Brakes
  14. Power brakes
  15. Air hydraulic braking system

We can also classify these different types of braking system according to its Power Source, Frictional Braking Contact, and Brake Force Distribution.

Working Principle of Types of Braking System:

The working principle of the braking system of automobile is a simple application of Newton’s first law (law of Inertia) that states “An object remains in its state of rest or motion until and unless any external force act upon it”. To develop a braking system, it is necessary for the breaking system to stop the car within the smallest possible distance within a short period of time, to park a vehicle either on a flat surface or on a slope, prevent the vehicle from being damaged by the accidents, etc.

Mechanical braking system:

Mechanical Braking System is one of the types of braking system in automobile, where the braking force (brake force applied by the driver) applied to the brake pedal and the force is transferred to the final brake drum or disc rotor to stop the vehicle through various mechanical connections such as cylindrical, rods, fulcrum, springs, etc.

Hydraulic Braking System:

Hydraulic Brakes

      Hydraulic Braking System is another type of braking system of automobile in which it is operated with brake fluid, cylinders, and friction. Brake fluids are hydraulic fluids used to transfer the force to pressure in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications. Hydraulic braking system is better than the mechanical braking system. In Hydraulic Braking System, the brake failure is very low, economical, and occupied space is low compared to other types of brakes.

Pneumatic Braking System:

Pneumatic Brakes

Pneumatic Braking System also known as Air Braking System. This type of braking system is used in heavy vehicles like buses and trucks because they require a heavy braking effort. In this braking system of automobile, the drivers foot works against flexible diaphragms in the brake chamber. Brake failure chances are less in pneumatic brakes because they are equipped with a reserve air tank.

Electromagnetic Braking System:

Electromagnetic Brakes

Electromagnetic Braking System works on the concept of electromagnetism. When we apply brakes using both electronic and magnetic power, a friction less braking, smooth braking can be achieved. We can also say that, the Electromagnetic Braking System has good service life and reliability too. It is also used in trams and trains because of its smaller size.

Servo Braking System:

Servo Braking System also called as Vacuum Braking System or Vacuum-Assisted Braking, used to increase the pressure exerted on the pedal by decreasing the braking effort by using the vacuum produced. In petrol engines, the air intake and in diesel engines, the vacuum pump helps to decrease the braking effort. The diaphragm that is used is large and can operate the control cylinder.

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Electrical braking system:

Electrical Braking System are not very popular. This braking system of automobile use an electromagnet within the brake drum and the braking is produced using the electrical motors therefore, it used in electric vehicle in which the main source is electricity. These Electric brakes are simple in construction and operate with electric power to stop the Vehicle and faster than other types of brakes.

Disc Brake System:

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes are the most commonly using type of braking system for motor vehicles. They use a brake rotor attached directly to the wheel that uses the calipers to squeeze pairs of pads against a disc/rotor to generate friction, which further slows the rotation of shaft.

Drum Brake System:

Drum Brakes

In Drum Brake System, the drum is fixed inside the wheel and works on the drive mechanism, but it is different from the disc brake because the disc brake has a brake rotor connected directly to the wheel. When we apply force on the brake pedal, the pedal contracts and then the hydraulic pressure pushes the two brake shoes against the brake drum and creates friction, which causes the vehicle to slow down and halt.

Note: You can read all these types of braking system in automobile in detail in future blogs.

Advantages of Braking System in Automobile:

The advantages of few types of Braking systems in automobile are as follows

Advantages of Hydraulic Braking System:

  •  Wearout in Hydraulic Braking System is less compared to the mechanical Brakes (the joints are absent).
  • The frictional loss is very low, and brake fluid acts as a lubricant.
  • Hydraulic type of brakes produce less thermal stress compared to Mechanical Braking.

Advantages of Electromagnetic Brake:

  • There is no physical contact between the parts so, the wear and tear of this system is very less.
  • The heat generated in Electromagnetic Brake is extremely less.
  • Electromagnetic braking is cheaper and maintenance free.

Advantages of Drum Brakes:

  • Drum Brakes are very economical compared to other types of braking system.

Advantages of Disk Brakes:                

  • The heat dissipation in Disk Brakes is high.
  • Disk brake does not collect water and dust, which means the maintenance is low or ignorable.

These are the advantages of different types of braking system. You can read more advantages separately in each type of braking system section.

Disadvantages of Braking System in Automobile:

The disadvantages of few types of Braking systems in automobile are

Disadvantages of Hydraulic Braking System:

  • In Hydraulic Brakes, brake-shoes will be ruined if brake-fluid leaks.
  • It is not possible for Hydraulic Brakes to work on high atmospheric temperature.

Disadvantages of Anti Lock Brakes:

  • The Anti Lock Braking system is c very expensive.
  • It requires more maintenance.

Disadvantages of Electromagnetic Brakes:

  • The Electromagnetic Brakes decreases the life of vehicle battery.
  • Residual magnetism is used in electromagnetic brakes, so it takes a long time for the brake-shoe to return to its original position.

Disadvantages of Drum Brakes:

  • Drum Brakes collects water because it consists an enclosed structure.
  • Drum Brakes life is short due to the entrance of air inside it.

Disadvantages of Disc Brakes:

  • Disc Brakes are not much efficient.
  • This type of braking system can only be used to reduce the speed of the vehicles.

These are the disadvantages of different types of braking system. You can read more disadvantages separately in each type of braking system section.

Applications of Braking System in Automobile:

The applications of braking system in automobile are as follows

  • Cars like the Ford Model Y and bikes like the Bajaj Pulsar 180cc use Mechanical Braking System. Moreover, types of braking system in cars varies according to the luxury, and design.
  • All Modern cars like Maruti Suzuki swift and bikes like KTM Duke 390 consists Hydraulic Braking System.
  • Volvo buses and other types of heavy vehicles built with Air brakes.
  • Accordingly, the Trains built with Vacuum brakes.
  • Bugativeyron and various hyper cars consists Magnetic brakes.
  • Tesla Model S Use regenerative type Electric Braking System
  • Old Maruti 800 and Tata 407 consists Drum brake.
  • All modern cars like Hyundai i20 have Disc brake.
  • All four wheeler cars and trucks consists Dual Acting Braking System.


As we know, there are different types of vehicles, which may be light-weight, heavy-weight, etc. It is not possible to use single type of braking system for every type of vehicle. It depends upon the capacity, speed, efficiency, etc. Moreover, every type of braking system consists its own disadvantage, which does not suit to apply in every vehicle so, different types of braking system of automobile are evolved accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. Why the ANTI LOCK BRAKE System is important?

Ans: The Anti Lock Brake System (shortly ABS) is used to apply the brakes very quickly to slow down the car. The pumping motion allows the driver to maintain control over the vehicle when it comes to a complete stop, especially helpful in emergencies.

2. How to clean brake rotors?

Ans: The easiest and most common technique used to clean brake rotor is scrubbing. Scrubbing the brake rotor with a stiff brush, which is soaked in soap and water. This will de-ionize the surface and remove the metal particles that are trapped in the pores. Furthermore, use petroleum-based cleaner.

3. Which type of braking system is used on the front wheels mostly?

Ans: Disc brakes are usually used for front wheels. Because when brakes are applied, 70% of the weight is transferred to the front wheels. This is the main reason, why the front brakes wear-out very quickly.

4. Why an automobile vehicle uses a braking system?

Ans: To stop a moving vehicle, to accelerate a moving vehicle and as a precaution for accidents.

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