Different Types of Braking Systems: An Intro for those Interested in Auto Careers

If you’re pursuing a career as an automotive mechanic, it’s likely that you’ll work with customers who need their braking systems serviced. In order to correctly service these systems, knowing the difference between the types of braking systems used in today’s vehicles will be essential. A braking system is made up of several components, including brake lines, master cylinders, brake discs, and more. Together, these elements work to put moving vehicles to a stop, manipulating kinetic energy, heat energy, and friction to get the job done.

At ATC Cambridge, you can prepare for your future as an auto mechanic with a hands-on training program. You’ll learn how to service wheels, tires, hubs, bearings, operate and service hydraulic brake systems, and more. The practical experience you gain will help you service braking systems with confidence during your career, while discerning the differences between each system.

Here, get a head start on your training by learning more about the different types of braking systems!

You’ll Find Mechanical Braking Systems Are Almost Obsolete After Your Auto Mechanic Training

Once upon a time, mechanical braking systems were the standard for newly manufactured vehicles; but today, these systems are slowly being phased out with advancements in automotive technology. Mechanical braking systems are still used in some small scooters, motorcycles, and a few modern vehicles. 

Mechanical braking systems function with the use of an emergency brake, or hand brake. In these systems, the driver’s brake force is applied to the brake pedal. This force is transferred to a final brake disc rotor, and through the use of mechanical parts like fulcrums, springs, cylindrical rods, the vehicle slows and eventually stops. After your auto mechanic training, you’ll likely encounter mechanical braking systems if you decide to specialize in servicing vintage vehicles.

After auto mechanic training, you’ll see mechanical braking systems in older vehicles

Electromagnetic Braking Systems Achieve Frictionless Braking

After completing mechanic school, you’ll notice that many manufacturers of modern and hybrid vehicles are beginning to use electromagnetic braking systems. The main reason electromagnetic braking systems have become so popular is that they’re considered low maintenance, and therefore low on cost. Unlike other braking systems, electromagnetic systems don’t include brake shoes (which require regular replacing), and they also offer a faster braking mechanism. 

An electromagnetic braking system achieves frictionless braking by using a magnetic flux that passes perpendicular to the rotating direction of the wheel. This movement produces a rapid current that flows in the opposite direction of the rotating wheel, which in turn slows it down by creating an opposing force. Given the nature of their function, electromagnetic braking systems also produce a small amount of heat, unlike mechanical braking systems. In the long run, this feature makes them less prone to brake failure.

Hydraulic Braking Systems: The Most Popular Option

The hydraulic braking system is the most common braking system, and is used for most modern vehicles on the road today. A hydraulic braking system mimics the concept of a mechanical braking system, but without the use of mechanical linkages. Instead, a hydraulic braking system uses pressurized brake fluid within hydraulic brakes, transmitting the brake pedal force that’s capable of slowing the vehicle. This is accomplished with a master cylinder, which converts the generated brake pedal force into hydraulic pressure. 

A hydraulic braking system is the most common braking system used today

Hydraulic braking systems are considered highly effective, with the capacity to produce significantly more brake force power than other systems. They’re also considered more durable than mechanical braking systems, since there’s a direct connection between a vehicle’s brake disc and the actuator which converts energy into a physical force. Given their many advantages and relative cost-effectiveness, you’ll see plenty of hydraulic braking systems during your career as a mechanic.

Are you interested in auto careers?

Contact ATC Cambridge to learn more about our training programs!

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