What’s the difference between disk and drum brakes?

I have a friend who works on cars, and a lot of what they say ends up going over my head! The other day, we were talking about different brakes, but I was pretty lost. What’s the difference between disk and drum brakes?

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Answer provided by
Melanie Mergen
Answered on Apr 27, 2022
Car vocabulary can definitely feel like its own language! Simply put, disk brakes and drum brakes do the same job—slowing or stopping your vehicle—but they go about it in different ways.
When a disc brake is activated, brake pads will press against a rotor to create friction. On a drum brake, a wheel cylinder presses brake shoes against a rotating drum to create friction.**
Disk brakes are easier to replace because their assembly is less complex and more efficient at slowing down cars. However, drum brakes are less expensive and double as a parking brake.
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