Taylor Riber posted an update 3 months, 2 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.
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 is the pressure transferred to the friction (brake) pads? Well the secret is brake fluid – this is contained in a brake pipe that runs from the servo to the brakes. Fluid is used as cables would require constant adjustment due to stretching from the heat and constant use.
The brake discs dissipate heat from the pads. 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. 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 play an important role in stopping your car. The higher the friction, the better it will perform. 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 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.
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. 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. 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 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.
The level of brake fluid should be checked at least once a year, but not more than twice a year.
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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