Avalon Motorsports in Denver discusses how brakes work on your Audi, BMW, VW or Porsche….

There are many advantages to upgrading your brake system, but most people would be surprised by what they don’t know about how the brake system works. Proper brake system maintenance on your German vehicle is vital, so Avalon Motorsports would like to help you better understand how it works.

STaSIS Alcon 355mm A4 brake upgrade - Avalon Motorsports
Let’s go over some of the components of the brake system and then next time we’ll discuss ways to improve your braking:

Brake pads – these are made with a dense, hard material (typically semi-metallic) molded to a thin metal backing plate and their purpose is to clamp down on the rotor when the brake pedal is applied. There are at least two pads per caliper (per wheel).

Brake rotor – a circular shaped disc that is bolted to the wheel hub. The rotors spin as the axle spins and when the brake pedal is applied, they are slowed down by the clamping force of the brake pads on both sides of the rotor.

Brake caliper – this component is a large arc-shaped part that holds the brake pads in place. When the brake pedal is applied, the pressure in the brake fluid system forces pistons to press the brake pads against the rotors.

Brake line – these hoses, typically made of rubber, attach to the caliper and feed brake fluid to it. Once the brake pedal is pressed, fluid travels through the lines, into the caliper, forcing the pistons inside the caliper to extend and put pressure to the pads against the rotors.

Brake fluid – this is a special hydraulic fluid that is designed to tolerate very high temperatures. Brake fluid is present throughout the system between the brake pedal and the brake pads. When it gets very hot, water content in the fluid will vaporize and decrease the ability to slow down or stop when pressing the pedal, sometimes even while pressing firmly. Changing the brake fluid every 2 years is recommended to avoid excess water content and brake pedal fade.

Brake master cylinder – a hydraulic cylinder that transfers the pedal pressure to hydraulic pressure in the brake system. This component relays your foot’s input on the brake pedal to the caliper pistons, ensuring the desired stopping power is achieved.

Here is a diagram that will visually aid in understanding what each component looks like:

Brake system - Avalon Motorsports
Squealing and grinding noises as well as shaking or shuddering while braking can indicate problems with your brakes. Contact Avalon Motorsports to have our factory trained Audi, BMW, Porsche and VW technicians perform a thorough brake inspection and feel confident that your brakes are performing their best!

Leave a Reply