Taylor Gillespie posted an update 6 months, 3 weeks ago
A friction pad is placed against the disc and used to brake any vehicle. The friction of the pad against the disc causes heat to spread out over the brake disc, causing the car to slow. The same applies for brake drums with the brake shoe pressed against it, heating up and again slowing the vehicle.
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 does the pressure transfer to the friction pads (brake)? Well the secret is brake fluid – this is contained in a brake pipe that runs from the servo to 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. Remember that regardless of the pads your driving style will play a large part in the wear on the pads and discs.
ABS prevents lockups when you brake hard. It also allows you to steer your car, but ABS will cut in more.
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. For example, if you have a family car with small discs, you can visit your local breaker to get parts or order online for a performance version. Small cars usually share the same brake parts than their larger brothers and just a small amount of research could turn up some surprises.
General Maintenance of Your Brake System
At least once per year you need to give your brakes a once over. Start by checking your pads and discs for wear and tear. 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.
One point to make is to test your brakes by applying them after driving through standing water to remove the water and grease build up.
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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