Take It Easy On Your Brakes

Graphene coating vs ceramic coating I would choose ceramic coating because of the key benefit of this layer is the way it bonds to the vehicle surface. Winter driving in Michigan and Ohio can often mask important feedback your car’s brake system can give you. Heater, defroster or wiper noise may muffle tell-tale squealing or grinding sounds. The crunch of new-fallen show may disguise clicking sounds from worn out drums or rotors. You might think a gradual pull to the left or right when you come to a stop or an unusual pedal feel may be caused by slippery or slushy road surfaces. Don’t wait too long to discover that something might be seriously wrong. Give your brakes a break. Listen to what they’re telling you. And, if you hear or feel any warning signs, have your brake system professionally inspected by an ASE Certified Technician at a service station or tire discounter.

Brake Basics

In simple terms, brakes help stop a vehicle by converting friction to heat, much the same way you do on a cold morning when you rub the palms of your hands together. When you apply pressure to your brake pedal, fluid to calipers in a disc brake assembly force stationary brake pads to rub against a spinning rotor and slow the vehicle to a stop. In a drum brake assembly, fluid to mechanical pistons push stationary shoes against the inside surface of a rotating drum and slow the vehicle to a stop. Converting friction to heat is hard and dirty work. Brake temperatures can reach 500 degrees during normal driving and up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit in a sudden or panic stop.

When brake components and fluids overheat they may lose some of their ability to operate effectively. That’s called brake fade. Excessive heat can also cause the brake fluid to vaporize, reduce hydraulic pressure in the system and create a soft spongy feel when you apply brake pressure.

Metallic and semi-metallic brake materials also wear away and carbonize at high temperatures. Tiny particles of brake dust can quickly coat wheels and make them appear dingy and dirty. Fortunately, rotors and drums, which are the largest components of the brake system, are designed to absorb heat and dissipate it quickly as they spin through the air on their way to the next stop.

Time for a Break

Your brakes are an incredibly important safety feature and should be checked every 8,000 to 10,000 miles and replaced as necessary. Pads should be replaced if less than 1/8 of an inch of friction material remains on their steel backing plate. Rotors and drums may be turned on a lathe to remove any scoring and provide an even gripping surface for new pads or shoes. Rotors or drums should also be replaced when their minimum thickness reaches the limit engraved on the edge of the brake disc or drum. However, if you notice or hear any tell-tale warning signs visit your local tire discounter and have your brake system professionally inspected by an ASE Certified Technician.

Professional Brake Service

ASE Certified Technicians will check brake lining wear, rotor and drum thickness, fluid levels, connecting hardware, hoses and more to make sure your brakes are ready to work when you’re ready to stop. If pads or shoes need replacement, they’ll install Bendix disc pads or shoes, machine and true the rotors and drums, repack wheel bearings, replace grease seals and drum hardware, and also road test your vehicle. Bendix brake pads offer unmatched quality and performance. They might also install low-dust brake components from Akebono Brake, like the Pro-Act ultra premium ceramic brake pads. Akebono brakes are sourced as standard equipment on many of the world’s highest rated vehicles.

If you’re interested in newer semi-metallic or premium ceramic pads and shoes, an ASE Certified technician can also tell you if they’re appropriate for your vehicle. Ceramic brake pads manage heat more effectively, are more resistant to fade, wear longer than metallic or semi-metallic pads and virtually eliminate brake dust, so they also help keep your car and wheels look cleaner.

So, don’t wait until something is seriously wrong. Have your brake system checked every 8,000 to 10,000 miles. If you notice hear or feel any warning signs, give your brakes a break. Have your brake system professionally inspected by an ASE Certified Technician at many tire discounters for free before going to the expense of replacing them.