Slow down and learn about your brakes

Car brakes are simple enough to understand, and modern iterations work so flawlessly that we tend to take them for granted.

Most, if not all, contemporary vehicles have good braking systems. OEM brakes have become so reliable that we seldom think of upgrading them.

Disc brakes are comprised of cast-iron material, and brakes slow down your car, but tires are really responsible for stopping.

Brakes slow your car down even if tires are the ones that do the stopping. So why are disc brakes made of cast iron? Why not aluminum, stainless steel, or even brass? Cast iron is very good in absorbing heat so once it gets hot; it gets somewhat malleable and sticky. Getting some rust on your disc brakes is perfectly normal.

If you notice, manufacturers usually slap on disc brakes in front and employ drum brakes for the rear wheels. Naturally, people ask: Are disc brakes better that drum brakes? The answer is no. They work exactly the same way and, in some instances, drum brakes can prove better judging by the number of cars still using the same formula brake on front and back that we mentioned.

It works, it’s efficient, and it’s almost fool-proof. 

The other part of the braking equation is the brake pad. Brake pads arguably form the most important part of your vehicle braking system. The easiest, cheapest, and fastest way to upgrade your brakes is through replacement of the brake pads. It’s also pretty easy to do if you’re a DIY person. If you have a set of tools, a couple of friends to help, you can do this in one afternoon.

Brake pads wear down. Their job is to keep wearing down so when you see the pads reach the line or even hear the sensor squeaking while pressing down on the brakes, it’s time to replace them. Another important part of the braking system is the caliper. This transmits the force from your braking foot the brakes themselves. Calipers basically hold the pads that squeeze the disc to slow the car down.

OEM or stock disc brakes are flat, racing brake rotors are the ones with holes and dimples on the surface. Now the big question: Will your car stop better if you install racing brake rotors as opposed to stock? The honest answer, if you do most of your driving in the city, is no. These may look better, but will not reduce your stopping distance in any way.

So why are these available in the market anyway? Well, as the name implies, racing brake rotors come into play when you do actual racing. The slots, holes and dimples on the surface help keep the disc cool, allowing more air to enter the rotor that will allow you to stay on the racecourse longer by a lap or two and that’s a big advantage in racing. 

Finally, remember that you can have too much power, but you can never have too much braking. So when would you want your brakes upgraded? Would you really want to wait for a close call or two to know when the time comes?

Trust me. You don’t.

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