Skip to Content

Types Of Car Brakes : Know Everything From This Article

Types Of Car Brakes : Know Everything From This Article

Out of the relative multitude of different car highlights you can list out, there’s not one more significant than your car’s braking mechanism.

After all, it’s the most unique and essential security feature your vehicle uses to guard you. Consider a scenario.

What would you do on the off chance you are driving and unable to stop the car?

Any brake failure can result in casualties, and thus, car makers put particular emphasis on a car’s braking system to enhance passenger safety.  

While most drivers’ comprehension of the vehicle’s brake doesn’t stretch out past squeezing the brake pedal and easing back down, there’s much more to this necessary simple braking.

Subsequently, underneath, we have discussed the different kinds of car brakes your vehicle may have and what makes each one so unique from its counterpart. So, let’s start.

Types Of Car Brakes

The following are the common types of car brakes you may find in any car.

  1. Disc brakes
  2. Drum brakes
  3. Anti-lock brakes (or ABS)
  4. Electronic hand brakes
  5. Emergency brakes

Let’s understand each of these in detail below.

1. Disc brakes

Out of all types of car brakes, disc brakes are quite possibly the most effective brakes in the presence and, by a long shot, the most generally utilized also.

These brakes constitute a plate brake rotor appended to the wheel and a caliper that holds the brake cushions set up.

The principal chamber applies a hydraulic force resulting in the caliper (cylinder) to grasp the brake cushions’ rotor.

It gives rise to traction between the cushions and the rotor, thus, halting the car.

Disc brakes result from the latest braking technology and offer much more braking power than the other brakes.


  • After having a smaller size, disc brakes offer superior braking power sufficient to make a big-size fast-moving vehicle come to a halt.
  • As disc brakes have an open structure, they never overheat, as their open design allows for better heat dissipation.
  • Again, their open structure means no unwanted retaining material like stones or debris, thus increasing their efficiency and life. 
  • Thanks to anti-lock brakes, the disc brakes won’t lock in case of high-speed braking. It was earlier the biggest weakness of disc brakes.


  • Due to the use of the latest technology, disc brakes are expensive to manufacture and install. It leads to an increase in the car’s overall and maintenance cost. 
  • If somehow any air enters the master cylinder, the brakes can falter and severe casualties. That’s why brake bleeding is vital for disc brakes at the time of service.
  • The brake fluid in the disc brakes needs proper checking more often to maintain its optimal viscosity.
  • Disc brakes are less effective without ABS.  

2. Drum brakes

As the name reads, a drum brake comprises a brake drum appended to the fundamental wheel, the wheel chamber, and the brake shoes.

Due to hydraulic pressure, the main chamber compels the wheel chamber to press the brake shoes against the brake drum.

In turn, it gives rise to friction between the brake shoes and the drum, causing the car to come to a halt.

Compared to the disc brakes, drum brakes are somewhat less viable and work in low-powered and small vehicles. However, they are still a hit in the automobile sector. 


  • They are inexpensive to manufacture and install in a vehicle. Hence, vehicles with drum brakes cost less and incur low maintenance costs. 
  • Drum brakes require less force for their operation.
  • In drum brakes, it’s much easier to mend the wheel cylinder.
  • They can easily contain the parking (emergency) brakes without occupying any additional space.


  • Due to their closed structure, drum brakes have low heat dissipation and overheats rapidly. It leads to faster wear and tear of the drum brakes.
  • Drum brakes collect unwanted materials like small stones from the surface, which lowers down their performance.
  • Drum brakes consist of several added parts. Hence, the probability of failure is somewhat high.

3. Anti-lock brakes (ABS)

If you’re buying a car packed with the latest technologies, you’re more likely to come across cars with anti-lock brakes.

The majority of the new vehicles accompany ABS to help empower better slowing down while braking.

Since such brakes are computer-controlled, they prevent the brakes from locking down, especially in situations of abrupt slowing down.

Likewise, as they repress the brakes from locking, they restrain tires from slipping. 

Here’s how anti-lock brakes work.

The ABS checks each wheel’s speed, consequently beating the brake tension on or off quickly on any wheels prone to slipping.

It is exceptionally gainful when driving on wet terrains or dangerous roads. 


  • Since ABS prevents the brakes from locking up and wheels from skidding down, this proves immensely beneficial to the drivers in keeping control over the car.
  • With the demand for ABS-powered vehicles going up briskly, the car’s resale value goes up if it has an anti-lock braking system.
  • ABS is thoroughly tested and has a proven record of effectiveness.
  • The infrastructure of the ABS and traction control system are almost the same. Hence, it’s easier for the carmakers to install both of these.


  • In some cases, the stopping distance of the car gets lengthened due to ABS.
  • Anti-lock brakes are costly to manufacture, install, and maintain. 
  • Anti-lock brakes come with a delicate control system. 

4. Electronic hand brakes

If you know how a conventional handbrake works, you won’t find difficulty understanding the same for an electronic one.

It is because the electronic handbrake’s working is somewhat like a standard handbrake.

However, there’s a significant difference between the two. An e-handbrake is wholly programmed, which implies that it would ideally forestall the result of neglecting to pull and deliver the driver’s handbrake.

Due to this, an electronic handbrake guarantees the wellbeing and completeness of the vehicle it’s fitted. 

Not at all like the standard handbrake, the electronic handbrake utilizes an engine to perform slowing down and for brake delivery.

In this manner, the driver will control the handbrake through a P-formed catch instead of pulling the handbrake as ordinary.

Electronic hand brakes are visible in luxury brands like Audi, Mercedes, BMW, Range Rover, Mitsubishi, etc. 


  • Contrary to the conventional handbrakes, an electronic handbrake saves space by replacing the long handbrake handle with a P-shaped button. It therefore simplifies and glorifies the driver’s compartment.
  • Whether you’re going up the slope or coming down, an electronic handbrake will offer much more control than the others as it requires only seconds to respond.
  • Thanks to e-handbrakes, there’s no room for jammed brakes.


  • As electronic parts are more challenging to maintain and repair than mechanical parts, an electronic handbrake’s durability is very low. Likewise, even a small error incurs high costs in repairing.
  • As the e-handbrake works with an excellent high-output battery, it sometimes becomes difficult to operate the e-handbrake if the battery doesn’t do well.
  • When the electronic handbrake is on, you might feel slight noise or vibrations in the car. It, however, is typical but not associated with other braking systems. 

These are the four primary car brakes the majority of the cars running today come fitted with and their pros & cons.

But there’s another type of brake which isn’t primary and provided in every car, and that’s the emergency or parking brake. 

What makes these emergency brakes so unique is that such brakes are not subject to any power through pressure and work freely.

These are otherwise known as parking brakes and use cords to precisely stop the vehicle.

Parking brakes focus on the brakes at the rear end of the car. These brakes help keep the vehicle stabilized or guarantee the vehicle doesn’t roll away when left on inclines. 


A brake is an essential feature and part of every vehicle as it’s the primary source of making the vehicle come to a complete halt.

It comes under various categories as listed above with its pros and cons.

While a few cars still use drum brakes, most car brands have shifted to the modern alternative, disc brakes.

At the same time, the luxury brands are still manufacturing vehicles fitted with ABS, which in conjunction with disc brakes, takes its efficiency to a new level.

In a nutshell, as a car owner, you must have proper knowledge about your car’s braking system.