What Are the Components of a Brake Assembly?

Disc brakes, which are the most common type of brake assembly, contain brake pads, a rotor, caliper and support. The master cylinder, which is located in the engine compartment, the brake lines and brake fluid are also part of the brake system.

As of 2015, the disc brake is the most efficient brake invented and is commonly used on cars, locomotives and jets. A disc brake for a car only has four parts.

A disc brake has two brake pads on each caliper. Each caliper has a metal base, or shoe, which is fused or riveted to the padding portion. Brake pads do wear down with use and should be checked periodically and changed as needed.

The rotor is a disc made of iron that also wears down with use. The brake pads create grooves and ridges in the metal. In order to stop effectively, the brake pads need a smooth surface.

Disc brakes in cars typically come with one of two types of calipers and support: four-piston fixed calipers or single-piston floating calipers. Calipers cause the brake pads to press against the rotor, and they only need to be rebuilt or replaced if brake fluid is leaking from the assembly.