A car with a disc brake source PIXABAY

A disc brake consists of four different parts. These components work together to form a functional and complete brake system. These parts include brake pad, brake rotor, brake calipers, and calipers support. In fact, none of the components can work without others. Even when it comes to maintaining a disc brake, you will still need to focus on these key parts.

So, would you like to learn something valuable about a disc brake system?

Well, you are in the right place. We are going to teach you about the components that make up a disc brake.

Whether you are a car technician or not, this information will be of great importance when you are planning to buy different components of a disc brake.

Chapter 1: What are  the Parts of  Car Disc Brake System

Components of a disc brake source PIXABAY

Without wasting time, let’s have a walkthrough on different parts of a car’s disc brake system.

1.Brake Pad

Image of brake pad

These are metal pieces that have brake linings embedded on them.

Usually, each brake caliper has two brake pads, one on each side of the brake rotor.

Brake pads have heat-absorbing property as there is immense heat that is generated because of friction between brake pad and rotor.

The heat and friction cause brake pads to wear with time. This means that brake pad replacement services are inevitable.

Also, you should know that there are different types of brake pads.

The difference between them depends on the material that has been used to make them.

Some brake pads last longer than others.

Brake pads made of strong materials can be used on extreme driving conditions such as races and heavy commercial vehicles.

Since the lifespan of the brake pads is not fixed, you should make an effort to inspect the brake pads regularly.

2. Brake Rotor

Image of brake rotor source PIXABAY

Closely related to the brake pad is the brake rotor.

Actually, the two work very closely in order to slow down or even stop a moving vehicle.

The brake pad gets into contact with the rotor generating friction force.

This is the force that works against the rotation of the wheel.

The contact surface of the rotor has ridges and grooves where friction is generated once it comes into contact with the brake pad.

Like the brake pads, rotors also wear out and you need to replace them after some time.

Alternatively, you can opt to resurface the rotor instead of replacing it.

However, you should only use this method as a temporary solution.

3. Brake Calipers

How does the brake pad shift from its original position and presses itself against the brake rotor?

The answer is with the brake caliper.

It is the part that is responsible for moving the brake pads to and from the brake rotor.

When you press the brake pedal, the caliper will move the pads to the rotor hence slowing down or stopping the car.

Once you release the brake pedal, the caliper will move the pads away from the brake rotor.

Technically, there are two main types of brake calipers

These are floating calipers and fixed calipers.

So, what is the difference between the two?

As the name suggests, floating calipers keep moving along their support track so as to be in a perfect position against the brake rotor.

You can find these calipers on both single piston and double-piston vehicles.

On the other hand, fixed calipers are literally immobile. They can’t move for even an inch.

Instead, there are two pistons which are responsible for pressing the brake pads against the rotor.

Chapter 2: How to Check a Brake System

Oftentimes, you will need to check the entire brake system.

This can be brake fluid, brake pad, brake disc or even brake shoes.

Why do you need to check the brake system?

The primary reason is to ensure that it is in a proper working condition.

If the brake pads and rotors are warped, you will have to buy new brake parts.

Do you know that you can check the brake pad and rotor without removing the wheel?

For the brake pads, you simply need to look through the spokes of the wheel.

If they are 1/4 thin, start looking for the best place to buy brake pads.

You can also opt to remove the wheel so that you can have a better view of both the brake pad and brake rotor.

If they are warped, you need to look for the best discs online and finally buy brake pads and rotors.

This video demonstrates how to check for the brake pads

Apart from the brake disc, you may also need to check the brake fluid in the master cylinder.

Here you will have to open the brake fluid reservoir that is at the top of the master cylinder.

From there you can see inside the master cylinder and judge the level of the brake fluid in it.

Chapter 3: What is the Purpose of Brake System?

Well, the question may sound obvious but it is not too obvious to many people.

The main role of a brake system is to decelerate and stop the vehicle.

By deceleration, the brake system will be reducing the speed of a moving vehicle.

When you step on the brake pedals, the brake pads and brake shoes press against rotor and brake drum respectively.

As they do so, friction is generated hence reducing the speed at which the wheels are rotating.

If you continue stepping on the brake pedal, the wheels will stop rotating bringing the vehicle to a halt.

Chapter 4: How Many Types of Brake Systems are There

A brake system of a car source CARPARTS

There are 3 main types of brake systems.

These are:

1.Electromagnetic brake system:Uses the electric motor  to slow down and even stop the vehicle

This type of brake system is popular in hybrid cars.

2.Hydraulic brake system: This is the most popular type of brake system.

It exists in two forms which are brake pads and brake shoes.

As the name suggests, it uses friction.

3.Hydraulic brake system: This type of brake system depends on the hydraulic fluid which passes from the master cylinder to the brake drum.

Other brake systems include parking brake system, servo brake system and pumping brake system.


From this article, you have learned the main parts of a disc brake system and how they work.

When you need to replace them, start looking for the best place to buy rotors and best place to buy brake pads.

Choose reliable brake disc manufacturers that will guarantee you quality products.

Read More About Brake Pads And Discs

Components of disc brake

How to check the brake pads