hand brakes

What is the Role of the hand brakes?

Brakes are an essential part of any vehicle. Brakes are used to reduce the speed of the vehicle or completely stop it. There are two types of brakes, one is the main brake and the other is the hand brake. 

In this article, we will be discussing the type of hand brakes and their purpose in the vehicle. Read the whole article if you want to gain information about the usage of hand brakes

What are Brakes? 

Brake is a name of a mechanism of the device which stops the movement and motion of an object. Brakes usually work on a principle of friction and stop the motion of different objects using enough friction. Brakes are the most essential part of any vehicle which allows the vehicle to stop at the driver’s command. 

Foot brakes present in every vehicle is primarily used to stop the vehicle or slow down the velocity and speed of the vehicle. The hand brake caliper is at the footrest of the car and are easily reachable to the driver for convenient usage. 

How Do Brakes Work? 

How Do Brakes Work? 

Source: Haynes.com

The brakes work using a simple friction mechanism. To stop or slow down a car, the brakes are used which help the car to get rid of the kinetic energy of vehicle.

This works as friction is produced through the brakes resulting in less kinetic energy. This process turns kinetic energy into heat. 

When you step on the brake pedal with your foot, the connected lever pushes the hydraulically-filled piston into the brake master cylinder.

This hydraulic fluid is coursed through a system of pipes into the wide cylinders located next to the brakes on each wheel or tire. These hydraulic cylinders convert the pressure of the foot on the brake pedal and apply enough force to stop the car. 

There are basically two types of foot pedal brakes that are connected to the wheels. Many modern cars have disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear wheels. For more expensive models, disc brakes can be installed on all four wheels. Only very old or very small cars have drum brakes on all four wheels. 

What are Hand Brakes? 

What are Hand Brakes? 

Source: Pinterest.com

Hand brakes also known as parking brakes is a mechanism to ensure that the car is completely motionless when parked. The hand brakes are either present in the centre console of the car at the footrest.  

Hand brakes are designed very specifically to resemble a lever. The lever like a rod of the hand brake also has a button mostly at the top. This button helps lift the hand brakes easily.  

The handbrake keeps the car in place if the foot pedal brake fails to do so. However, its main function is to maintain parking mode until the driver presses the button and releases the lever. It is very convenient because it prevents the car from rolling forward or backwards when parked on a slope or uneven road. 

The braking system of modern vehicles is so reliable that you probably don’t need to use a hand brake except in the parking lot.

These mechanisms include both a two-circuit hydraulic system and a low brake fluid sensor system, so they rarely become inoperable. There are a few emergencies that require the use of parking or hand brakes


The handbrake is an essential part of a car, but it is often only seen as a tool to stop the wheels. We hope this article will help you understand exactly how the handbrake works and what it does. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

  • What do hand brakes do? 

In every vehicle, the parking brake also called a hand brake or emergency brake is a mechanism used to hold the car by making it immobile while parked.

Parking brakes are connected with a cable that passes through the 2-wheel brakes which are connected to a pulling mechanism to stop the car from moving. 

  • What is the difference between a hand brake and foot brake? 

The main difference between the hand brake and the foot brake is that the hand brake engages the rear wheels when an immediate stop is needed, while the foot brake is used to produce friction on all four wheels while the vehicle is moving and stops the vehicle. 

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