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  Related Terms
• Brake Bleeding
• Brake Drum
• Brake Fluid
• Brake Job
• Brake Lining
• Brake Pad
• Brake Rotors
• Brake Shoe
• Caliper
• Parking Brake
• Master Cylinder
• Wheel Cylinder

Definition: The brake system uses hydraulic pressure to stop the vehicle when you step on the brake pedal. Pushing the pedal down pumps fluid from the master cylinder to the brakes at each wheel. This squeezes the brake linings against the rotors and drums, creating friction that brings the vehicle to a halt. The only maintenance the system requires is to check the fluid level periodically, and to replace the fluid every couple of years-or when brake repairs are performed.

Related Resources:

How Antilock Brake Systems Work
Understanding what ABS is and how it works.

Braking-Related Symptoms
Brakes acting funny? Better check here before it's too late. From your Guide.

DIY: Disc Brakes
These instructions will help you change the disc pads on most popular vehicles. Be sure to READ these instructions completely before you begin.

DIY: Drum Brakes
This is a good job for a moderately skilled DIY. It only takes about three hours to do and will save you quite a few bucks. Plus you will get the satisfaction of saying "I did it myself!"

DIY: Wheel Cylinders
Here's a good job for the DIY that's easy and will save you a few bucks.

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Additional Information provided courtesy of and Warranty Direct
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