Brake Replacement Addison

When it comes to driving your car, there is little that is more important than making sure you can come to a complete stop. While there are a lot of factors that are beyond your control, there is one that you can control. Replacing your brakes are just one of the parts that should be replaced during regular maintenance, along with oil filters, wiper blades, and belts. Like the others, there are several factors that will determine how quickly you need to change your brakes like other parts of your car.

  • Distance you drive
  • How often you use your brakes
  • Quality of your brakes
  • Weight of the car

Brake Shop Addison

One thing that goes hand in hand with the distance you drive is how much you use your brakes. The type of driving you do also has a factor in how long your brakes last. Highway driving is easier on your brakes than urban driving. Urban areas often have lots of stop signs, lights, and turns that require you to stop to make. This increases the use of your brakes which in turn increases how fast they wear out.

Brakes Addison

In addition to how often you have to brake, is how often you have a tendency to brake. This comes down to driving habits and also what other people do. Driving in stop and go traffic do you have a tendency of accelerating as soon as there is a gap and then stopping, or do you take your foot off the brake and idle up to the car in front of you? Do you coast when a car moves in front of you or do you apply the brake right away? None of these say how good or bad of a driver you are, but they affect how quickly you need to replace your brakes. The more you use them, the faster they go, but it is cheaper to replace your brake pads than it is to repair your car.

Car Mechanics Addison

The quality of your brake has a lot of factors. Not only in the quality of material that goes into them but the material that they are made out of. Originally asbestos was used to manufacture brake pads, but obviously, those have been replaced. The most common type of brake pad out there and the cheapest is the Organic brake. These are not called organic because they are made out of organic materials, but because their name is NAO (non-asbestos organic). They are made by combining various materials with a binding agent. These materials often include glass, fiber, rubber, carbon, and Kevlar inside the pad itself. Because of the low production cost, they are often the standard brake pads that are included in the sale of new cars, but that does not mean they are bad. There are several benefits to organic pads than just cost.

  • Soft, quiet, easy on brake rotors
  • Don’t require much heat to generate good friction
  • Produce less dust than metallic pads
  • Low manufacturing cost
  • Suitable for normal driving/commuting across many environments
  • Perfect for everyday vehicles and drivers

Though they are not without their drawbacks

  • Only operate well within a relatively limited temperature range
  • Wear out quickly compared to other types of brake pads
  • High compressibility – can cause “mushy” brake pedal feel
  • Will quickly lose their coefficient of friction when overheated
  • Not at all suitable for performance driving

The next type of brake pad that is commonly seen is the semi-metallic brake pad. This is similar to the organic brake pad but has 30-65% of the material as a metal. The most common types of metals found in these pads are steel, iron, and copper. The metal that is inserted into the pad helps dissipate heat away from the rotor. This reduces the temperature generated from braking reducing the chances of a rotor warping from heat. They also have other benefits to them as well.

  • Dramatically increased braking performance over organic pads
  • Have a much higher thermal threshold due to metallic content
  • Still, provide good cold bite
  • Have a much wider operating range (temperature)Low compressibility – will provide a firmer brake pedal feel
  • Much more resistant to brake fade than organic pads
  • Numerous compounds available – suitable for anything from daily street driving to extreme track use

But every positive always comes with a cost

  • Tend to be noisier than organic or ceramic pads
  • Produce more brake dust
  • More abrasive than other types of pads – will wear brake rotors more quickly
  • More expensive than organic pads (but generally cheaper than ceramic)Require careful and proper bedding-in for best performance

The last type of brake pad that is available for your vehicle is a relatively new one to the other two. Ceramic brake pads have only been around since the 1980s and use a dense ceramic material, like those found in pottery.

  • Quieter than semi-metallic pads – emit noises that are above the range of human hearing
  • Produce finer, lighter-colored brake dust which does not stick to wheels
  • Longer lifespan than organic or semi-metallic
  • Stable under a wide range of temperatures for consistent performance

Though while better than organic and semi-metallic, they do have drawbacks as well.

  • Typically the most-expensive type of brake pad
  • Do not produce as much cold bite as semi-metallic pads – may not be ideal in extremely cold climates
  • Do not absorb heat as well as semi-metallic pads which can increase brake system temperatures
  • Good all-around braking characteristics but were never designed as heavy duty/racing brake pads

Brake Installation Addison

The last factor is the type of car you drive. Larger vehicles have larger brakes. It could also be some options that determine what types of brakes you have, often vehicles that come with the option of a towing package have larger brakes than their non-towing counterparts. This is due to one simple fact; heavier vehicles require more force to stop at speed. These larger brakes would be overkill on smaller cars and just increase the maintenance cost for regular bake changes. Not only do the designers of your vehicle take into account the vehicle itself, but what envisioned it to be used for. Trucks and SUVs have larger brakes than Sedans and Minivans because Trucks and SUVs are expected to be carrying heavy weight up steep slopes. That does not mean that a Sedan or Minivan couldn’t be holding that same weight, but it is not an expected use of them.

Quality Auto Mechanic Addison

When you need to have your brakes replaced, be sure to come to the experts at AAC Auto. Our mechanics have the knowledge to safely replace your brake pads and rotors. Having your brakes go out is dangerous and potentially deadly for you and other people on the road. Make sure they are done right by visiting AAC Auto today.