Everything You Need to Know about a Brake Slave Cylinder

The braking system in your car comprises a brake slave cylinder and master cylinder. Together the two components build the hydraulic system which generates fluid pressure, when brake pedal movement takes place. Someone may find it hard to detect a brake slave cylinder, as the conventional name for this component is different. Often this leads to confusion about what really a brake cylinder is, and what it does.


How Brakes Work

A brake booster multiply the amount of force using a vacuum and therefore, the fluid goes into the braking system when you press the pedal. Through the car’s braking system, it acts on each slave cylinder in your car’s wheels.

In turn, the pressure pushes piston in every slave cylinder, and that converts into a push on the brake pads proportionately, which stops the car.


Leverage Is Key

The torque multiplies using larger diameter gears and divides or increases the amount of force, to transmit it across. For example, 1 pound of force exerted on a 1-inch diameter, in turn, exerts it on a 2-inch diameter gear; so the total amount of force will be 2 pounds. A brake slave cylinder works in almost the same way, but with fluid pressure. The job of a master cylinder is to displace the amount of pressure, which is based on the diameter. Then the pressure increases significantly by changing the size and number of slave cylinders the pressure is working on. Certainly, smaller cylinders deliver less and larger cylinders deliver more pressure. This is necessary to distribute fluid pressure from wheel to wheel.


Brake Slave Cylinder

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Slave Cylinders on a Modern Braking System

To find the exact location of slave cylinders in your car’s braking system, don’t go any further than the brake calipers. Inside the brake caliper, there are number of pistons that work on the brake pads. The size and number of pistons are usually bigger on the front, to bear the weight surge during braking.

Whereas, the calipers in the rear are smaller and fewer since the weight distribution is lower in the back, while braking. As you press the brake pedal, the proportioning valve works as a divider that distributes the pressure between the back and front. Afterward, the slave cylinders transmit this pressure over the wheels.

A brake slave cylinder is the right term to be used for every piston and bore in brake calipers. We call them slave cylinders because they are active only when the master cylinder exerts pressure; this indeed justifies the naming of a hydraulic system.


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