Are Car Brakes Hydraulic or Pneumatic?

Are Car Brakes Hydraulic or Pneumatic?

“In the world of fluid power application, the difference between hydraulics and pneumatics are often comprehensively covered.

These two kinds of power circuits are actually similar in a number of ways in that they both use a fluid to channel mechanical energy as well as in the executions, terminology, and components.

Both systems likewise require a certain type of pump and some valves for force and velocity control of the actuators.

However, the differences between the two spell out how and where each one can be most useful in relation to your needs.

Significant Differences – Hydraulics vs Pneumatic Brakes

The difference between pneumatics and hydraulics actually lies in the medium that is utilised to transmit power. Pneumatics use easily-compressible gas like air or pure gas. Meanwhile, hydraulics utilize relatively-incompressible liquid media like mineral oil, ethylene glycol, water, synthetic types, or high temperature fire-resistant fluids to make power transmission possible.

In a nutshell, their differences are as follows:

Pneumatic Car Brakes

  • Confined pressurized systems that need air or gas to be mobile
  • Delay in movement and force due to gases needing to be compressed
  • Need for compressor

Hydraulic Car Brakes

  • Confined pressurized systems that require fluid to be mobile
  • Liquids are not compressible – thus no delay in movement or force


Pneumatics are typically used in factory set ups, construction, mills, building, and technology by using a central source of compressed-air for power. Medical applications of pneumatics are likewise common including the high-powered drill of a dentist. Practically everything could run on pneumatics including any form of transportation. That little tube in a bank’s drive-teller operates through pneumatics via a high pressure source of compressed air.


Hydraulics have varied uses in everyday life and most of them are applicable to machines. For instance, hydraulics is applied in a car’s braking system. They only require a small force as the driver steps on the car brakes but a greater force is already produced to stop or slow down a car as it equally acts on all of the 4 brake pads.


Need brakes repaired or replaced? Click here to get in touch today!

h/t to medium.com for the great info!


Welcome to Astrobrake

× How can we assist? Click on logo to start chat?