Front Brakes, Rear Brakes, All Brakes, Oh My!

Do you know the difference between front and rear brakes? Outside of their position, of course. No? Well, then this content is for you. Despite the title “front brake” and “rear brake,” those terms have nothing to do with their position on your vehicle’s frame. Rather, it lends itself to the idea of friction and heat. The question is, how well did you do in physics back in school?

Physics? For Car Brakes?

I know it sounds insane, but bear with me. Brakes essentially take the vehicle’s energy as it’s moving (kinetic energy) and utilizes friction to make it cease. Once the brake connects with your vehicle’s tire, it begins the grueling process of bringing you to a halt. Sounds simple, right? Well, your brakes are also crafted to work with the rest of your vehicle to help dispel the immense amount of heat that comes with energy conversion. And that, friends, is where we get the difference between front and rear brakes.

Front Brakes Are Hotter

Florida, yes. All jokes aside, however, your vehicle’s front brake design is created specifically for handling more heat. When your vehicle is soaring forward, and you slam on the brakes, your car’s entire center of gravity moves. In this example, with the car’s forward motion, that center of gravity shifts onto the vehicle’s front tires. Because that shift puts the front tires in overdrive, and the front brakes help to dispel all of that rising energy. Forward shifts like that require more power to stop the vehicle in its tracks, which means more heat is generated in a short time while the brakes do their physics magic. How hot, you ask? Well over 500 degrees Fahrenheit, to be specific.

Bring On The Stability!

Welcome to the design of your car’s rear brakes. Their purpose isn’t so much stopping power as maintaining stability while your vehicle attempts to stop in the first place. Since their primary function isn’t to stop, these rear brakes don’t generate nearly as much heat as the front brakes themselves. Rather, the rear brakes provide stability while the front brakes are screaming for their lives in the heat of five summer suns. This is why rear braking systems have things like a smaller brake pad surface to help with decreased friction or thinner brake rotors that don’t generate as much heat. It all works in tandem to keep the rear brakes focused on their singular job: to keep your vehicle stable and safe while your front brakes do the heavy lifting.

Whether you need your brake pads changed out, your brake fluid changed, or you need something greater like your brake’s drums and rotors resurfaced, we’ve got you covered. Here at Jeff’s Auto Repair, our ASE-certified technicians work with state-of-the-art machinery to provide our customers with a job well done the first time. Come on down and visit us at 21701 Hwy 99, Lynnwood, WA 98036 or give us a call at (425) 771-4588! Let us take on your brake worries so that you don’t have to shoulder them any longer.

Written by Jeff's Auto Repair

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