The Right ideas to protect your car
You're 16 years old. Your father has decided it would be a great idea to take you to the steepest hill in town and make you stop precariously at the stop sign that is halfway up the hill. You're driving a stick shift. As you stop, he reaches over and puts on the emergency brake. You notice three cars pulling up behind you. Your father snickers. You break into a cold sweat. But for a second, you feel safe. Because the emergency brake is on. But what exactly is holding you in place?
Emergency brakes are a secondary braking system installed in motor vehicles. Also known as e-brakes, hand brakes and parking brakes, emergency brakes are not powered by hydraulics and are independent of the service brakes used to slow and stop vehicles. There are state and federal laws requiring emergency brakes for motor vehicles
There are four types of emergency brakes:
1- Stick lever, which is generally found under the instrument panel (found in older-model vehicles)
2- Center lever, which is found in between separated front seats
3- Pedal, which is found to the left of the floor pedals
4- Electric or push button, which are found amongst the other console controls
Because most modern braking systems have failsafe measures and warning systems, such as on-dash brake-warning lights and low-fluid sensors, the emergency brake is most often used as a parking brake device. But the e-brake is called an emergency brake for a reason using it can save your life. Read on to discover how emergency brakes keep you from rolling down that hill.
Using only levers and cables, each type of emergency brake is completely mechanical and bypasses the normal brake system.
This ensures that a vehicle can be brought to a complete stop if there's a failure of the brake system
Using only levers and cables, each type of emergency brake is completely mechanical and bypasses the normal brake system. This ensures that a vehicle can be brought to a complete stop if there's a failure of the brake system
When you set the emergency brake, the brake cable passes through an intermediate lever, which increases the force of your pull, and then passes through an equalizer. At the U-shaped equalizer, the cable is split in two. The equalizer divides the force and sends it evenly across the two cables connected to the rear wheels
Motor vehicles use either drum brakes or disc brakes. Drum brakes are common in the rear wheels, while disc brakes are most common on the front wheels (or all four wheels). In a rear drum situation, the emergency brake cable runs directly to the brake shoes, bypassing the hydraulic brake system. In this simple, mechanical bypass, the emergency brake system requires no extra parts to control the brakes
Cars with rear disc brakes have a more complicated emergency brake system, sometimes requiring an entire drum brake system to be mounted inside of the rear rotor, called an exclusive parking brake or auxiliary drum brake
When the vehicle has rear disc brakes without an auxiliary drum brake, a caliper-actuated parking brake system is used. With this system, an additional lever and corkscrew is added to the existing caliper piston. When the emergency brake is pulled, the lever forces the corkscrew against caliper piston, and applies the brakes, again bypassing the hydraulic braking system.
Electric e-brakes are available on some cars today. Instead of having a pedal, stick or center console lever, a small button on the dash signals an electric motor to pull the brake cable. Advanced electric brake systems utilize computer-controlled motors to engage the brake caliper