Kaspersen William 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 between the disc and the pad causes heat to spread over the brake disc, which causes the car to slow down. 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 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. 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. 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.
You have many options to upgrade your cars braking system. The fitting of bigger discs is an upgrade that could be a fairly simple option. 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 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 edge of the discs shouldn’t have a ridge due to excessive wear. Thin discs can crack under extreme 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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