Toyota brakes are one of the most dependable braking systems on the road today. For decades the Toyota Motorsport Division (TMSD) has developed and sold braking systems for Toyota cars and trucks that are performance-oriented and reliable. To understand how Toyota brakes work, it is important to know how brake systems work in general and the differences between mechanical, hydraulic and electronic braking systems.
Mechanical braking systems are the most basic type of brake system. The brakes are directly linked to the foot pedal, or brake bar at the side of the driver. When the brake pedal is pressed, it moves a metal bar, which in turn moves a lever at the back of the brakes. This lever then activates the brake shoes and pads which press against the discs and rotors on the wheels to stop the vehicle. Mechanical brakes offer simpler and more reliable braking performance since there are fewer moving parts and repairs are more straightforward.
Hydraulic brakes are a more advanced type of brake system. Instead of a metal bar, an adjustable hydraulic valve and a hydraulic cylinder are used to apply the brakes. As the driver presses down on the brake pedal, the hydraulic valve opens, releasing hydraulic fluid which is then forced through the piston and into the brake cylinders. This pressure forces the brakes open and stops the wheels. Hydraulic braking systems are noticeably smoother than mechanical brakes and are preferred in vehicles that perform at high speeds.
Finally, electronic brakes use a combination of mechanical and hydraulic technologies. This type of braking system is controlled by an Electronic Control Unit (ECU), a computer that constantly monitors the speed and position of the vehicle as well as the pressure of the brake pistons. Electronic brakes can adjust the force applied to the brakes quickly and precisely, resulting in an enhanced performance.
No matter the brake system, it is important to inspect and service your Toyota brakes regularly. Basic maintenance such as checking the brake fluid level, adjusting the valve and piston pressure, and inspecting the brake pads and discs can go a long way towards ensuring your Toyota brakes will be reliable for years to come. Even small maintenance tasks such as lubricating the moving parts of the brakes and cleaning away any dirt or debris can positively affect your brake system’s performance. An experienced Toyota mechanic can inspect, diagnose and repair any braking issues you may have.