• Kirkeby Hodges posted an update 3 months, 1 week 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.

    Start under your foot and apply pressure to the brake pedal. This pressure is transferred to brake servo which uses engine power to increase pressure.

    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.

    As mentioned the heat is dissipated from the pad by the brake discs. For improved dissipation vented brake discs have a central channel that increases the surface to air ratio of the disc and gives more efficient cooling. Ventilated discs improve the air ratio, reduce the buildup of gases, and maintain clean pads. 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. Your driving style and driving habits will have a significant impact on how the pads and discs wear.

    ABS helps to prevent lockups under heavy braking and allows you to steer the car but steering will reduce the braking efficiency as the ABS cuts 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. 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 Care 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. You should check your pads for wear, as they can eat into your discs.

    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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