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Brakes - Performance Brakes and Brake Parts

Why Upgrade Your Braking System?

Oftentimes, we don't put much-needed attention to our car's brakes. After all, every time you step on the pedal, it just works fine. However, you need to understand that there are actually various braking parts working in harmony to keep you safe on the road. Below, you will know how exactly brakes operate and why it's important to keep them properly maintained throughout your car's life.

How Your Brakes Work

The majority of vehicles feature disc brakes, however, many older vehicles utilize drum brakes. If you have a vehicle with drum brakes, upgrading to a modern disc brake system is a great way to improve stopping power and reduce brake fade. Here's how your brakes work: your foot presses a brake pedal which is connected to the brake master cylinder. Inside the master cylinder is a cylinder which forces a non-compressible fluid through the brake lines and to the brake calipers.

Inside the brake calipers, pistons force the brake pads to squeeze the rotor which creates a massive amount of friction and ultimately slows the vehicle down. Nearly every component in your braking system can be upgraded in some way. The most common upgrades are pads, rotors, and brake lines. If you want the best braking performance possible, upgrading to a big brake kit will offer significantly more performance than your OEM brakes.

The main parts of automobile braking systems include:

  • Pads
  • Rotors
  • Master Cylinder
  • Brake Lines


Brake pads are a vital component of the brake system in your vehicle; they sit between your brake shoe (the component that clamps down, slowing down the movement of the tires) and your brake drum. Certain components of your car, such as the wheels, rotors, and calipers, can start wearing away without working brake pads.


Once you push your brake pedal, the brake pads of your vehicle will be squeezed against the friction producing rotor. This friction causes the vehicle to stop while still producing large quantities of heat.

Master Cylinder

When you press the brake pedal it moves via a loop on the primary piston. As the brake pedal is much further depressed, pressure builds up in the cylinder and sides. The friction between the primary and secondary pistons compresses the fluid in its circuit by force of the secondary piston. If the brakes work correctly, the pressure in both circuits should be the same.

Brake Lines

The brake lines are typically made of steel and carry the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir to the wheels where pressure is applied to stop the car.

Identifying Problems in Brake Parts

You can often detect a lot of problems in brake parts based on how your car responds during braking. When you feel a vibration, notice that your car doesn't stop as fast as it's supposed to or hear a high-pitched squeaking when you slow down, then it's a good indication that your brake parts need an inspection.

Some parts may require replacements. Brake pads, as we pointed out earlier, are typically the first components to get worn out. You can easily detect once they are worn out if you hear any screeching sound when stopping.

Vivid Racing offers everything from brake pads, brake rotors, brake lines, brake fluid, brake calipers, big brake kits, and more!