When your vehicle’s wheels are in motion, it’s called kinetic energy. The brake system is responsible for turning kinetic energy into heat energy using friction applied indirectly to the wheels. The calipers on your brake assembly system straddle your rotor. When you step on the brake, pressurized brake fluid in the master cylinder activates the piston to force your brake pads against the spinning rotor, which in turn slows or stops your vehicle. On a floatingtype caliper, when the brake is pressed, the caliper piston
forces the inside pad out to the rotor and pulls the outside pad into the rotor. This forces the brake pads to deliver equal pressure to the rotor. Fixed-position calipers will have pistons on each side of the rotor to force the brake pads against the rotor.

Disc brake pads are made of organic and non-organic materials, low-metallic or semimetallic materials. Brake pads are designed to provide smooth stopping with little or no noise or vibration during operation.

Goodyear premium brake pads are designed to meet or exceed the most stringent original equipment manufacturers standards. At Goodyear Brakes, we know the brakes are the single most important safety feature on a vehicle. For that reason, our friction science engineers deliver a product designed to make vehicles as safe as possible.

Fixed-Position Caliper

Brake Pad


The BRAKE PEDAL in your vehicle is the lever that activates your brakes. The brake pedal is connected to the brake booster. The BRAKE BOOSTER is either a vacuum-assisted booster or a hydraulic booster. Vacuum boosters use the vacuum created by the engine to increase the force created when the pedal is pressed. This in turn compresses the pistons in the master cylinder.
The MASTER CYLINDER includes the reservoir under the car’s hood that holds the brake fluid. The brake fluid runs through the brake lines and hoses to the car’s wheels. The pistons in the master cylinder force the brake fluid out of the master cylinder and into the brake lines and hoses leading to the vehicle’s wheels. The brake fluid then activates the brakes on the wheels. Modern master cylinders are divided into two reservoirs, which create this dual braking system. Each reservoir is filled with brake fluid. The dual brake system, mandated by the Federal Government beginning with the 1967 model year, is a safety feature that activates if the front or rear brakes fail.
Master Cylinder
Varies by vehicle make/model. Image is for reference only.
In front-wheel drive vehicles, diagonally split hydraulic systems are used. In front wheel drive vehicles, the front brakes do the majority of the braking. If the front brakes were to fail, it would be nearly impossible to stop the vehicle. To ensure that at least one of the front brakes is operable, the front-right wheel and rear-left wheel are tied together, and the front-left wheel is tied together with the rear-right wheel. BRAKE LINES – Brake lines are the steel lines that deliver brake fluid from the master cylinder to the rubber brake hoses and then the wheels. The brake fluid activates the brakes on the vehicle.

DISC BRAKES – Disc brakes began being used in racing and later on passenger vehicles in the 1950s. With disc brakes, when you depress the brake pedal in the vehicle, a piston in the master cylinder pushes brake fluid into the pistons in the brake system’s calipers. Once the fluid compresses the piston, the caliper will clamp down on the rotor and slow the vehicle. The caliper contains brake pads that, when forced against the rotor, create friction which slows the wheels. Modern vehicles use disc brakes on the front wheels of the vehicle because the front wheels do the majority of the work when applying the brakes. Disc brakes, unlike drum brakes, are exposed, allowing them to cool quicker.

Caliber & Rotor

DRUM BRAKES – Today, most vehicles have disc brakes on all four wheels, but you will still see drum brakes on the rear wheels of many vehicles. Drum brakes have been used on vehicles in the U.S. since the 1900s. Drum brakes are an enclosed system, and they are attached to the wheel. In this case, when the brake pedal is depressed, the brake fluid goes into the drum brake wheel cylinder. Once the brake fluid is freed into the cylinder, the pistons (2) inside the wheel cylinder push the brake shoes against the drum. This slows the wheels.

ANTILOCK BRAKES (ABS) – Fast forward from the 1950s version of braking systems to today, and you will find many newer vehicles using anti-lock brakes. Antilock brakes are computer aided brakes that improve braking and help prevent skidding. The ABS system checks the speed of each wheel and applies the exact amount of brake to keep the vehicle from losing control. The antilock braking system delivers the right amount of hydraulic pressure to each wheel, which helps control the vehicle while braking. You can tell if ABS brakes are installed on a vehicle if the brakes pulsate in a panic stop. That is a sign that the correct pressure is being applied to each wheel while braking.

Antilock Brake System (ABS)

The brakes are clearly one of the most important safety systems on a vehicle, so whether you have disc brakes or drum brakes, it’s important to service them according to your vehicle’s car manual.

Goodyear Brake Kit