3 Things You Didn’t Know About Brake Pads

September 21st, 2018 by

When you think about safety systems and innovative features, you probably think about the latest options like lane departure warning with mitigation, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring. However, one of the most critical systems that protects you and your passengers, along with other drivers and passengers on the road, is your brake system. When you hit the brake pedal, a complex system engages to stop the car quickly and effectively. One of the components of the system is the brake pads, which help to protect your rotors from premature wear.

How the Brake System Works
When you apply the brakes, the motion forces brake fluid to move through the caliper via a hydraulic system. The caliper presses the brake pad against the brake rotors, which are the flat sections on the wheels. The pressure and friction produced during this motion help to slow down your vehicle and bring it to a stop. Brake pads are critical in this system but they don’t last forever. You need to replace your brake pads regularly to ensure that your vehicle can stop properly when you apply the brake pedal.

Types of Brake Pads
There are several main types of brake pads, each made of different materials. The most common type of brake pads are semi-metallic, which are made of metal shavings, including graphite, copper, brass, and steel, and bound together with resin. You’ll find semi-metallic brake pads in a number of vehicles for everyday driving, along with heavy-duty vehicles that need higher braking power. Benefits of this material include durability, good performance, and a reasonable price tag.

Another option is organic brake pads, which are made of rubber and glass and bonded with resin. They work well in high temperatures because the heat helps to bind the materials together for improved strength. Organic brake pads operate quietly, although they don’t last as long and require more frequent replacement. The third option is ceramic brake pads, comprised mainly of ceramic fibers and other fillers. Ceramic brake pads are most commonly found in high-performance vehicles since they are lightweight and work well in very high temperatures. They don’t wear out quickly, so you don’t have to replace them as often.

Signs to Replace Brake Pads
Your car probably contains semi-metallic brake pads, which require replacement regularly. The pads contain a small piece of metal, so when they wear out, you’ll hear the grinding sound of metal on metal. This sound indicates it’s time for a new set of brake pads, so take your vehicle in for replacement as soon as possible. Continuing to drive with worn out brake pads limits your car’s ability to stop when you press the brake pedal, which puts you in danger. Some cars also contain a monitoring system that will emit an alert when it’s time to replace the brake pads.

Your brake pads are important aspects of the braking system in your vehicle. Keep up on regular maintenance to protect yourself and those around you from an accident.

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