• Williamson William posted an update 6 months, 1 week 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. 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.

    As mentioned the heat is dissipated from the pad by the brake discs. 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. To further improve the braking of a high performance car you can always fit larger discs but you may have to fit different wheels.

    Brake pads are obviously an essential part in stopping your car and the higher the friction the better the performance. Fast road pads give a good compromise between standard and racing pads with some generating zero pads. 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.

    Brake upgrades

    Stainless steel braided hoses prevent any flexing and therefore loss of pressure at the pad end, they also look nicer and theoretically last longer too – get a full set and do the front and back at the same time.

    There are many ways to upgrade your car’s braking system. The fitting of bigger discs is an upgrade that could be a fairly simple option. 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. 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 Care of Your Brake System

    You should inspect your brakes at least once a year. Check your brake pads and discs for wear. The edge of the discs shouldn’t have a ridge due to excessive wear. Thin discs can crack under extreme 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 that you found this useful. It’s important to pay attention to your brakes in order to safely stop your car.

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