Your Emergency Brakes !

“How do my Emergency Car Brakes work? What keeps me in place when I’m at that steep hill? What if they stop working?!” No worries - I’ll try and answer all of your questions.

General definition of Emergency Brakes : they’re a secondary braking system that’s installed in most motor vehicles. Most people call them “E-Brakes”, “Hand Brakes”, or even “Parking Brakes”. Emergency Car Brakes are not usually powered by hydraulics because they’re independent of the service Brakes that are usually used to to slow down your car and eventually make your car come to a complete stop.

There are typically four types of emergency brakes:

1. Stick Lever -these are the Brakes that are found in older cars.
2. Center Lever - this type of brake is found in the space between the two front seats.
3. Pedal - it’s located to the left of the floor pedals.
4. Electric or Push Button - this button for your Car Brakes is found right around the same area where your other controls are positioned.

When you use your Emergency Brakes, there’s a brake cable that passes through something called an “intermediate lever”. This is what increases the force of your pull; and then it passes through an equalizer. At the “U-Shaped” equalizer, the cable is then split into two. The equalizer is supposed to divide the force and then send it evenly across both of the cables that are connected to your rear wheels.

The motor vehicles can either use Drum Brakes or Disc Brakes . Drum brakes are most common in the rear wheels and disc brakes are more commonly seen on the front two wheels or all four of the car’s wheels. When there’s a “Rear Drum Situation”, the emergency brake cable would run directly to the brake shoes; this means that it’d bypass they hydraulic brake system. This means that in this particular system, the emergency brake system wouldn’t need any extra parts to control the Brakes.

The vehicles that have the rear disc brakes usually have a system that’s a little more complicated to comprehend. Sometimes this system needs a whole drum brake system to be installed into the rear rotor. This is called an exclusive parking brake or an auxiliary drum brake - either way, their Brakes and they work the same way.

When the car has rear disc brakes without an auxiliary drum brake, there’s something called a capiler-actuated parking brake system that’s used. In this specific system, there’s an additional lever and extra corkscrew that’s added to the existing caliper piston. When the driver pulls the emergency brake, the lever is the one that forces the corkscrew against the caliper piston, and then it applies the brakes. This happens by bypassing the hydraulic braking system.

There’s some electric E-Brakes that are offered on cars that are manufactured today. Instead of the car having a pedal, stick, or a center console lever that you pull up and down, there’s a small button that’s located on the dash that signals an electric motor to pull the brake cable. There’s some advanced electric brake systems that use computer - controlled motors to engage the brake caliper.