Save a Life, Understanding Brakes

Brake liningsads of the same material:

Brake linings are not the same and that is why they have different behaviors on the road as it is discussed here.

The most common cause of brake complaints and poor performance is noises and vibration or pulsation.

Today, there are three universally accepted types of friction formulations semi-metallic, non-asbestos organic, and ceramic.

Ceramic brake pads have gained in popularity over the past several years, but they have been in use since the mid 1980s. Ceramic pads contain no steel fibers. Instead, they use ceramic and copper fibers to manage heat dissipation. When installed on originally equipped ceramic vehicles, ceramic pads have three primary aantages.

First, ceramic fibers are stable under a wide range of temperatures, providing more consistent performance. Secondly, ceramic fibers minimise harmonic pad vibration, a leading cause of squeal, to reduce brake noise. Lastly, ceramic formulations are said to be less abrasive, which minimises brake rotor wear, a primary cause of wheel dust. The best way to insure the benefits of using a ceramic pad is to follow manufacturer recommendations.

Non-Asbestos Organic:

This type of brake pad, commonly referred to as NAO, is made from organic materials such as fiber, glass, rubber and even Kevlar. These types of pads are usually softer and don’t create much noise, but they tend to wear faster and create a lot of dust.

What happens if a mismatched brake lining is installed?

Lining that is more aggressive than the original material may cause the brakes to feel over sensitive or slippery. A mismatch in friction material could also alter front to rear brake balance, increasing the risk of brake lock up on slick surfaces, especially if the more aggressive lining ends up on the back brakes. If the replacement linings are less aggressive than the original material, the vehicle may require increased pedal effort and take longer to stop, reducing a driver’s confidence in handling the vehicle.

The five most important characteristics that are considered when selecting a brake pad material are as follows:

The materials ability to resist brake-fade at increased temperatures.

The effects of water on brake fade (all brakes are designed to withstand at least temporary exposure to water).

The ability to recover quickly from either increased temperature or moisture.

Service life as compared to wear on the rotor.

The ability of the material to provide smooth, even contact with the rotor or drum rather than a material that breaks off in chunks or causes pits or dents.

Can You Repair a Brake Pad?

Your car braking system is critical to safe driving and you should not attempt to do a brake pad repair at any time. You need to have your brakes on peak performance at all times. When you have an issue with your brake pads, you can either have them adjusted or replaced. A set of brake pads will normally cost you very little money. Attempting to repair them will be a very unwise decision, since you will be making a minimal saving while taking a huge risk on your life, as well as those of other road users. If your brake pads are worn, the proper thing to do is have them replaced as a set, so as to have peace of mind while driving.

So next time you are at the parts counter faced with multiple options for brake pads or shoes that do not seem to differ at all except in price, take another look and choose the ones that fit your needs best. And breathe easier at the fact that there is that much less asbestos in our cars.

Source : The Independent

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