Brakes & Wheels Bearings


We all know that pushing down on the brake pedal slows a car to a stop. But how does this happen? How does your car transmit the force from your leg to its wheels? How does it multiply the force so that it is enough to stop something as big as a car?

When you depress your brake pedal, your car transmits the force from your foot to its brakes through a fluid. Since the actual brakes require a much greater force than you could apply with your leg, your car must also multiply the force of your foot. It does this in two ways:

  • Mechanical advantage(leverage)
  • Hydraulic force multiplication

The brakes transmit the force to the tires using friction, and the tires transmit that force to the road using friction

Wheel Bearings

The concept behind a bearing is very simple: Things roll better than they slide. The wheels on your car are like big bearings. If you had something like skis instead of wheels, your car would be a lot more difficult to push down the road.

That is because when things slide, the friction between them causes a force that tends to slow them down. But if the two surfaces can roll over each other, the friction is greatly reduced.¬†Bearings reduce friction by providing smooth metal balls or rollers, and a smooth inner and outer metal surface for the balls to roll against. These balls or rollers “bear” the load, allowing the device to spin smoothly.