Tuesday 4th October 2022
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A typical vehicle braking system consists of a pair of brake pads, brake discs and a brake calliper for each wheel. Your brakes are the most important safety system in your vehicle. Brakes give you the ability to slow down or stop in an instant and can help you avoid a serious accident. Brakes that aren't well maintained and regularly inspected can let you down when you need them most.
 
 
A lot of vehicle owners take for granted their vehicle’s braking system and the importance of maintaining them. The braking system in your car is one of its most critical safety elements, as the capacity to stop or slow down in a fraction of a second is the key to preventing accidents. 
 
Brakes may appear simple, but your car’s braking system is quite sophisticated. To stop your car from moving, your braking system converts kinetic energy to heat through friction.
 
So how would you get enough friction on your brake pads to keep the wheels from spinning? When you press the brake pedal, a lever pushes a piston within a master brake cylinder filled with brake fluid. This brake fluid is forced through brake lines that link to cylinders on all four wheels. A piston in this cylinder will engage your car’s Brake pads which will engage your rotor, generating the friction required to stop your vehicle.
 
The hydraulic system multiplies the small force you apply to your brake pedal into the ability to stop a 5,000+ pound vehicle! As the brakes create friction on rotors, a massive amount of heat is generated – upward of 500 degrees Celsius; therefore, Brake pads must be made of special heat-resistant material. It is important to note that Brake pads are susceptible to breaking down over time.
 
Vehicle's typically used pads, discs, calipers, shoes, and or drums as shown below:
Brake pads are a part of the braking system. In many ways, they determine how quickly the vehicle will stop.

Brake Discs
Brake discs are fixed to the wheels, therefore, when the pads clamp onto the discs, friction occurs and the wheels slow down bringing the vehicle to a stop.
Brake Drums
Brake drum is a brake that uses friction caused by a set of shoes or pads that press outward against a rotating cylinder-shaped part called a brake drum.
Brake Shoes
Brake shoes carry the brake lining inside brake drum systems. They are curved pieces of metal, with a friction material fixed to one side. 
 
Brake Calipers
Brake calipers are the arms that squeeze the brake pads The Caliper together with the piston presses brake shoes with Brake pads to the brake disc.
How often should I change my brakes?
Generally, Brake pads need to be replaced after about 50,000 miles. Some need to be replaced after 25,000, while others can last for 70,000 miles or how the vehicle is driven.
 
The most obvious indication is a brake pad wear warning light.

It will show on the car's display board to indicate that at least one set of pads is almost worn out and a replacement needs to be fitted. 
 
However, not all cars are equipped with brake pad sensors. If your car doesn't have them, you must make sure the pads are inspected by a local garage.
Services will assess the condition of brake pads but at other times, listen and look for the possible flaws mentioned below.
 
Types of Brake pads
•    Organic brake pads are generally the cheapest but have a shorter life span
•    Low metallic brake pads can be noisy but have a slightly longer life expectancy than organic
•    Semi-metallic or sintered brake pads use fused metal particles such as copper and bronze along with other materials. Although they offer excellent braking performance and have a long life expectancy they may wear brake discs down quicker than other pads 
•    Ceramic Brake pads last longer than other materials and are more resistant to wear. The drawback is that these are also more expensive than others