Attention Fall River: Do You Have Disc Brakes or Drum Brakes?

Attention Fall River: Do You Have Disc Brakes or Drum Brakes?

disc-drum-brakesBefore you can do any type of work on your vehicle, such as install new brake pads or contact LaCava Brothers Auto Supply for rotor turning services or other types of Fall River auto parts and services relating to your brakes, you need to know what type of brakes you have. There are two primary types of brakes that will be on your car or truck: disc and drum. Knowing what you have will help you know what needs to be repaired when you bring your vehicle in for service and can help you from paying for services that you don’t need in the future from a less than trust-worthy source. This is definitely one situation where knowledge is power.

Talk About: Disc Brakes
The most common brake is known as the disc brake. You might see it written in two different ways, spelled with a “k” as disk or with a “c” as disc. No matter how you spell it, disc brakes are named because of their disc-shaped appearance. When you look at this part you will see a flat metal piece, which is the rotor. Appropriately named, the rotor rotates along with the wheel. A second flat metal piece that features a rolled edge sits behind it. That is a dust shield that does not move. Disc brakes work by using a caliper to squeeze the brake pads against the disc to stop the wheel from spinning when the brakes are applied by the driver. When the brake pads wear down you will need to install new brake pads. If they continue to wear down before you replace them, you could do damage to the rotor, requiring a rotor replacement if it is severe, or rotor turning services if the rotor can be saved.

Talk About: Drum Brakes
Compared to disc brakes, drum brakes are a completely different process. Instead of a flat disc, drum brakes use a wide shaped cylinder that looks sort of like a drum. It is open at the back. Brake “shoes” are located inside of the drum. Drum brakes work by pushing out the curved brake shoes to rub against the inside of the metal drum to help slow down and stop the wheel from spinning when the brakes are applied by the driver. While the concept of disc brakes and drum brakes are similar in that the pad or shoe is used to slow down and stop the wheels, the parts used to make it happen are very different.

So What is the Difference?
When you compare the two methods of braking together side by side, it becomes obvious that the disc brakes are more superior to the drum brakes. There are certain aspects of disc brakes that make them more effective and efficient than drum brakes. In fact, when speaking to mechanics and store owners at Fall River auto parts and services shops, more experts will tell you that disc brakes are the better choice.

Some of the differences between disc brakes and drum brakes include:

  • HEAT ENERGY – Disc brakes are able to dissipate the heat that comes from the friction caused by the brake pads rubbing against the rotor than the drum brakes are able to when the brake shoes rub against the inside of the drum. Scientifically speaking, brakes work by converting motion energy into heat energy, so having the ability to dissipate heat effectively is a clear advantage.
  • DURABILITY – Compared side by side, disc brakes are able to stand up to drivers that ride the brakes or experience frequent hard stops. Drum brakes seem to lose effectiveness more quickly than disc brakes – a condition known in the industry as “brake fade.” This means you won’t have to install new brake pads as frequently as you would have to replace brake shoes. The brake pads also help to protect the rotors longer than the shoes protect the inside of the drum for the drum brakes.
  • SAFETY – Other tests that compare disc brakes and drum brakes reveal that disc brakes perform much better in wet weather, such as rain, snow or ice, than drum brakes. This is due to the fact that the inside of the drum brakes will often collect water, while the design of the drum brakes will keep the brake disc dry through centrifugal force during use.

If Disc Brakes Are Better…
Why do manufacturers still use drum brakes on certain vehicles? This is a pretty common question and one that car owners should consider when shopping for a new mode of transportation in the future. While you can get services and replacement auto parts in Fall River, MA for both types of brakes, it does make one wonder why drum brakes are even used at all. Some vehicles use disc brakes in the front, but drum brakes in the rear. American safety standards require vehicles sold here to at least have disc brakes for the front wheels. When a vehicle brakes, approximately 70 percent of the braking takes place in the front. This is why your front brakes will often wear out faster and more frequently than your rear brakes.

To find out more about rotor turning services or for any of our Fall River auto parts and services, stop by LaCava Brothers Auto Supply located on Bedford Street in Fall River, MA. You can also contact our store by calling 508-676-1951. Our team of knowledgeable representatives can help you find all of the auto parts and services you need to get your vehicle back out on the road safely.

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