The brake system is perhaps the most important safety feature of your car. With properly functioning brakes, you can decelerate the vehicle or bring it to a complete stop without breaking a sweat. But it is important to point out that not all types of brakes are created the same. Being well-informed about the differences will go a long way in ensuring you select the right brakes when it is time to perform brake repairs. Here is a look at the different kinds of brakes found in cars and when they can be used.

Service brakes 

These are the brakes used to decelerate the vehicle and to bring it to a complete stop while driving. They can either be disc brakes or drum brakes. Disc brakes comprise a brake rotor that is directly attached to the wheels of the car. The fluid pressure created by the master cylinder causes the caliper, which holds the brake pads in place, to firmly clamp onto the rotor. This, in turn, generates friction between the brake rotor and the brake pads, causing your car to decelerate or come to a halt.

Drum brakes don't have a brake rotor; instead, they come with a brake drum attached to the wheel of the vehicle. When the brakes are applied, fluid pressure from the master causes two brake shoes to press against the drum. This generates friction, which causes the vehicle to slow down or stop.

Anti-lock brakes 

Stopping a car on wet and slippery roads can be quite challenging even for the most experienced motorists. Anti-lock brakes are designed to take out most of the difficulty that is sometimes associated with this nerve-wracking situation. When applied suddenly, these brakes stop the wheels from locking up, thus preventing the tyres from skidding.

Emergency brakes 

These brakes are also referred to as parking brakes because they are used to "hold" the vehicle in an emergency situation. The parking brakes found on most cars are mechanically applied (usually using cables). However, there are a few other kinds of emergency brakes including: a push button found near the steering column; a stick lever centrally positioned between the driver and passenger seats, etc.

Now that you are better informed about the various kinds of car brakes available in the automobile market, you should make sure you choose the correct brakes when it is time to carry out brake repairs. As always, you can consult a mechanic if unsure about anything.