January 9, 2019

Disc Brakes VS Drum Brakes

Disc brakes and drum brakes — you will find both these braking systems in modern cars. Each one has its own pros and cons and requires regular brake maintenance. In this blog post, we’ll look at each system’s parts and assembly and how they differ from each other. So, keep reading to find out which one’s right for you.

What Are Disc Brakes?

Disc brakes are composed of a brake disc, also known as a rotor, and a caliper. The caliper houses the brake pads and is mounted over the disc. When the brakes are applied, hydraulic fluid pressure forces the caliper pistons to push the pads against the rotor. This contact causes friction, slowing down the wheel’s rotation and ultimately stopping the vehicle.

Pros And Cons Of Disc Brakes

Let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages to see how disc brakes can affect your usage.

Pros

  • Disc brakes have a better design and are more effective at stopping high-speed vehicles than drum brakes.
  • They provide better stopping power in wet weather and are less likely to fade under heavy use.
  • Their pads last longer because they don’t get as hot as drum brakes. However, when damaged, pads make a very irritating brake noise.
  • Disc brakes don’t have moving parts outside the rotor, so they are less likely to get damaged.
  • It’s easier to access the inside parts of a disc brake, so these are easier to clean.
  • An open assembly reduces the chances of trapping moisture, which is why these brakes are less prone to rusting.
  • The open assembly also means that heat is dissipated directly into the atmosphere, preventing overheating brakes or tires. Hence, disc brakes are very efficient in hard braking situations.

Cons

  • Disc brakes are expensive to manufacture and install.
  • If the rotor gets damaged, it is more expensive to replace than a drum.
  • Unlike drum brakes, disc brakes require frequent maintenance. You need to change the brake fluid regularly, otherwise the brake’s performance will decline. So make sure to find a good local mechanic with Enji if you choose disc brakes. 
  •  You also have to be mindful of “brake bleeding” — a process where you remove air from the system to ensure proper hydraulic pressure, or else your brakes might feel mushy.
  • Brake pads for disc brakes tend to be more expensive than those for drum brakes.

What Are Drum Brakes?

On the other hand, drum brakes have a brake drum that the brake shoes press against to create friction. When the brakes are applied, hydraulic fluid pressure forces the shoes outward, pressing them against the inner surface of the drum. This contact slows down the wheel’s rotation.

Pros And Cons Of Drum Brakes

Now that we know how drum brakes work, let’s take a look at some of their advantages and disadvantages.

Pros

  • Drum brakes are cheaper to manufacture and install.
  • Since their design is pretty simple, you won’t require much force to engage drum brakes.
  • They require less maintenance than disc brakes.
  • Drum brakes are more resistant to corrosion because they are sealed.
  • The shoes in drum brakes can be replaced without removing the entire assembly.
  • It is easier to service the drum brake’s wheel cylinder than the disc brake’s brake caliper.
  • Drum brakes in the rear wheels can integrate with parking brakes without requiring extra space.

Cons

  • Drum brakes are not very effective at stopping high-speed vehicles.
  • They are more likely to fade under heavy use.
  • The pads in drum brakes heat up more, which causes them to wear out faster.
  • Drum brakes have more moving parts, making them more likely to get damaged.
  • They are also more difficult to access and clean.
  • The assembly can trap moisture, which leads to rusting.
  • Drum brakes don’t perform well in wet conditions.
Now that we know the pros and cons of both disc brakes and drum brakes, it’s time to decide which one is right for you.

Which One Is Right For You?

The easiest way to decide is to look at the pros and cons of each braking system and compare them to your driving style, daily routes, budget, and preferred car performance. If you live in an area with a lot of rain or snow and need your brakes to work well in those conditions, then disc brakes are the way to go. They will give you the best stopping power, and they won’t fade as easily in wet weather. Similarly, if your driving style involves a lot of high-speed driving or hard braking, disc brakes will perform better and last longer than drum brakes. However, if you are on a tight budget and drive at moderate speeds, drum brakes might be the better option for you. They are cheaper to buy and maintain and will still give you decent stopping power. And although disc brakes are more popular and widely used, drum brakes are making a comeback due to their corrosion resisting properties. So, at the end of the day, it’s up to you to decide which braking system is right for your car and driving style. But now that you know the pros and cons of each, you can make a more informed decision!