Brake pads are an essential part of an automobile’s breaking unit. These pads help slow down the car and bring it to a stop. Also, the brake pads ensure safety on the roads when driving.
When the brake pedal is stepped on, the brake pads push inwards and come into contact with the brake rotor. This results in friction that slows down the rotating motion of the wheels which in turn slow down the car. In order to enhance performance and efficiency, manufacturers usually place a minimum of two pads in the brake caliper per disc rotor. For racing cars, up to six pads can be used. Nowadays, there is a practice where the brake caliper is painted in various colors. This is done with use of brake caliper paint. It does not only add style to the vehicle but also help to protect the calipers and pads from harmful chemicals and dust, which increase the pads wear and tear.
Brake pads are made from various materials. These materials include asbestos, ceramics and semi-metals. Each of this material has features and properties that make them preferable for manufacturing the pads such as durability and environmental friendliness. For instance, ceramic brake pads are more durable than metallic brake pads as they wear out less due to properties of the material used. The features and materials are used to determine the brake pads cost.
A good brake pad should have the following features:
- Durable –It should not wear out easily or only after a short period of use.
- A heat shield that prevents the overheating of brake fluid should be present.
- Produces minimal noise
- Have a quick response time
Changing Brake Pads
As a vehicle owner, it is essential to know how to replace or install brake pads in your vehicle. This not only saves on time but also the costs incurred if the vehicle was taken to an auto shop. Here are tips on how to change brake pads.
- Ensure that the following tools are present: jack, brake pad grease, wrench, vise grip and tire iron.
- Identify the pads that need changing and using a jack, lift the vehicle off the ground.
- Loosen the nuts while securing the wheel.
- Next, remove the wheel so as to access the braking system.
- With the braking unit in full view, loosen the nuts securing both the brake caliper and pads onto the brake rotor and remove the brake caliper.
- Using a vise grip, adjust the caliper’s piston until it is fully opened and install the new pads.
- Once installed, apply brake pad grease on the new pads.
- Lastly, re-assemble the braking unit and replace the tire.
When changing the brake pads, ensure that you change the pads on both sides and test if they are functional. Also, avoid applying brake grease on the front side of the brake pads and be careful not to break the brake fluid line placed on the caliper. Since you now have the information on what to look for and how to change brake pads, you can ensure a proper breaking system in your vehicle.