Your brakes are single-handedly some of the most important components on your vehicle as they help you to come to a complete stop on the Lansing roads. But, have you ever wondered how the brake system works? The service center at Morrie's Grand Ledge Lincoln will break down how car brakes work step by step as well as how you can help get the most out of your vehicle's brake system. Take a look at our brake system guide, and rely on the expertise of our service experts to handle anything your vehicle needs. 

How Does the Brake System Work in Your Car? 

There are two types of brake systems in your car: disc brakes and drum brakes. Additionally, there's another system within your brake system called a handbrake. How does the brake system work for each different type of brake? Take a look below: 

Disc Brakes 

The disc brakes can be seen through the hubcap on your vehicle's wheels, and it will usually look like a metal disc. When you push the brake pedal, you're applying a brake disc pad to the brake disc, which causes your car to slow down and come to a complete stop. These types of brakes operate in a similar manner to the types of brakes on bicycles. 

Drum Brakes 

Drum brakes will you usually be found on the rear wheels, and they work a little differently than disc brakes. These types of brakes are made inside the wheel and have two brake shoes that are pushed in and out by pistons inside of a cylinder. When you push the brakes, brake fluid in the cylinder pushes out the pistons. This causes the shoes to connect with the drum, bringing your vehicle to a complete stop.


Handbrakes are usually found between the front seats of a car. Handbrakes are designed for emergency braking on the East Lansing roads and are technically mechanical. Mechanical, in this case, means that they don't use brake fluid like your car's regular brake system. When you pull the handbrake, a lever system pulls on a pair of cables that put the brakes on the rear wheels. The more you pull the lever upward, the tighter the handbrake becomes. 

When to Have Your Brakes Checked

Now that you know how the brake system works, you'll want to know what kinds of signs to keep an eye out for that indicate your brakes need to be checked. If you notice any of the following, you'll want to have your brakes serviced immediately:

  • Flashing brake light
  • Squeaking/grinding noise as you brake
  • Leaking fluid
  • Burning smell
  • Bouncing as you come to a short stop

Schedule service with Morrie's Grand Ledge Lincoln as soon as possible whenever you notice any of these warning signs. 

Brake Care Tips

Knowing how care brakes work is one thing, but knowing how to properly care for them is something that not many Grand Ledge drivers know how to do. That's okay, and caring for your vehicle's brake system is relatively easy to do. Here are some tips that our service center recommends when it comes to caring for your car's brake system: 

  • Keep an eye out for the warning signs mentioned above. 
  • Try to keep from braking when drivers in front of you are unnecessarily braking. 
  • Come to a slow stop instead of slamming the brakes. 
  • Check your brake fluid levels regularly. For most vehicles, you'll want to check your brake fluid at least once a year. 

For other helpful service tips and best practices, visit Morrie's Grand Ledge Lincoln online. Otherwise, reach out to our service team in person for even more advice and information. 

Service Your Brakes in Grand Ledge

Still not sure how car brakes work? All vehicles are different, so if you have specific questions about your brakes or want to schedule service for your vehicle, then contact Morrie's Grand Ledge Lincoln today. 

Schedule Service

* Indicates a required field

Contact Information

Appointment Information

Service Information

Type of Service Needed