• Taylor Gillespie posted an update 6 months, 3 weeks ago

    Brakes on any vehicle work with a friction pad placed against a disc with force. The friction of the pad against the disc causes heat to spread out over the brake disc, causing the car to slow. This is also true for brake drums that have the brake shoe pressing against them. The brake drums heat up, causing the car to slow down again.

    Starting under your foot the pressure you apply to the brake pedal is transferred to the brake servo, this utilises engine power to increase the pressure and ensuring you can still feel your leg after a long journey!

    How is the pressure transferred to the friction (brake) pads? The secret to brake fluid is in the brake pipe, which runs from the servo and the brakes. Fluid used in cables would need constant adjustment because of stretching due to heat and constant usage.

    The brake discs dissipate heat from the pads. Ventilated brake discs provide better heat dissipation and more efficient cooling. Drilled and vented discs increase the air ratio, prevent a build up of gases and keep the pads in a clean condition. You can fit larger discs to improve the braking performance of high-performance cars, but you might need to use different wheels.

    Brake pads play an important role in stopping your car. The higher the friction, the better it will perform. The fast road pads offer a compromise between racing and standard pads, with some generating zero. Your driving style and driving habits will have a significant impact on how the pads and discs wear.

    ABS prevents lockups when you brake hard. It also allows you to steer your car, but ABS will cut in more.

    Brake upgrades

    Braided hoses made of stainless steel resist bending and loss of pressure at the pad ends. They also look better and theoretically last longer. Get a complete set and do both the front and the back.

    You have many options to upgrade your cars braking system. An easy upgrade is to fit larger discs. Take a standard family car for example with small discs – you could visit your local breaker or buy brake parts online for a performance model from the same vehicle. It is common for small cars to share brake parts with their bigger brothers. A little bit of research can lead to some surprising results.

    General Maintenance of Your Brake System

    At least once per year you need to give your brakes a once over. Check your brake pads and discs for wear. The discs should not have a ridge on the edge due to excessive wear, thin discs can warp under immense heat conditions. Check your pads for wear as they will eat into your discs when worn.

    Brake fluid levels should be changed at least once per year but no longer than every two years.

    It is important to check your brakes after you have driven through standing water. This will help to eliminate any grease and water buildup.

    I hope you have found this information useful, it’s important to understand the attention you need to give your brakes as you need to stop your car with confidence.

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