Here is Everything You Need To Know About Brake Pads
A car’s braking system is one of its most important components that keep drivers and passengers safe. It uses key parts to press on the moving parts of a vehicle to produce kinetic friction converted into heat to slow the vehicle down and stop it. Those parts are called brake pads.
Brake pads initiate when you step on the brake to stop your car. They’re made of a flat piece of steel with thick friction material on one side. Stepping on the brake pedal allows the brake fluid to flow to the brake calipers, which activates the brake pads. That movement causes the friction required to stop the wheels from moving.
Now that you know how the braking system works, you realize how important brake pads are. Learning about them will help you maintain your braking system in good condition and stay safe on the road.
Different types of brake pads
Since braking entails converting kinetic friction to heat, brake pads are naturally exposed to stress that could wear them out. They have a specific temperature range for optimal braking efficiency, which means the brake pads your car has are suited for its capability. It also means that your driving style affects the lifespan of your brake pads because the pressure you apply on the brake pedal determines how much friction the pads absorb.
Here is the difference in brake pads available in the market nowadays:
Ceramic brake pads are the higher-performance types and are significantly more expensive. They’re suitable for high-performance applications, i.e., racing, and must be warmed up properly before driving.
These are the brake pads fitted for most new cars sold nowadays. The metal element makes them more resistant to heat, making them optimal for daily driving and certain performance applications.
Organic brake pads are the softest ones sold in the market. They wear out quickly and generate large amounts of brake dust.
Knowing the difference between brake pads helps find the suitable ones for your driving style and schedule when the time comes for brake pad replacement.
Signs of possible brake pad issues
As previously mentioned, the way braking works causes brake pads to wear out. Hence, manufacturers placed indicators in the form of a soft piece of metal that rubs against the brake rotor when the pads’ friction material is getting low. It makes a high-pitch screech when it contacts the brake rotor, indicating that you need to replace your brake pads.
Besides the noise the indicator makes, the following are other ways that indicate signs of brake pad issues:
Modern cars have advanced features such as a warning light that alerts the driver of brake pad issues. Brake pad sensors warn drivers by activating a blinking light warning signal. However, there are still cars that don’t have brake pad sensors and warning lights, and if yours is one of them, you need to take note of physical signs to be aware of your brake pad situation.
Unusual trembling in the steering wheel could mean that your vehicle’s brake pads are most likely have already run down. The brake rotor sustains damage due to the constant metal scraping, which causes the shaking. If you experience trembling in the steering wheel while driving, that’s the sign to inspect your car.
One side pull
If your car jerks to one side after pushing the brake pedal, that means there’s a problem with the brake pads. The pull to one side when braking is due to the uneven wear of your brake pads, which causes your car to lose its balance.
Feeling vibrations when you hit the brake pedal could also be an indication of brake pad wear. Without the friction material lining, the excessive rubbing against the rotor will hurt it, causing vibrations.
Replacing damaged brake pads
Once you’ve experienced or seen the signs of brake pad damage, you must replace them. Let us tell you now that it isn’t as easy as replacing tires, so we recommend that it’s better if you have professionals do it for you. Any error that compromises the braking system also compromises your safety.
And those are everything you need to know about brake pads. Check for damage signs and have them replaced by professionals to ensure your braking system’s state is where it needs to be.
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