Tips for How to Care for Your Vehicle's Brakes
you ever been surprised by something suddenly coming
in front of your vehicle and had to slam on the brakes?
You probably have, and if your brakes stopped you
in time, you've probably heaved a massive sigh of
relief. If not
you know the con-sequences.
Either way, you understand that reliable, predictable
brakes are probably the number one safety item on
Car Care Council - a group dedicated to educating
the motoring public about the need to maintain their
vehicles - recommends that a car's entire braking
system be thoroughly checked once a year or at every
12,000 miles. The inspection should include checking
brake lining wear, brake fluid level, rotor thickness,
condition of hoses and brake lines and brake warning
lights for any signs of problems. Warning signs of
brake problems you can detect yourself include brake
grabbing, low pedal feel, hard pedal feel, vibration
safe braking with quality replacement parts
"Within the brake system, most of us know that
what stops the vehicle is brake pads or brake linings
applying pressure against spinning brake rotors or
drums," said Jack McGrail, Product Manager, Brake
Systems, for Bosch, a leading supplier of brake and
other components to original equipment manufacturers
(OEM)/vehicle manufacturers and the aftermarket. "The
pads in today's vehicles do most of the braking, and
what they are made of and how they are constructed
are very important - not all brake pads are created
formulas, design and craftsmanship can differ dramatically
from one pad to another, and over time, greatly influence
how well the vehicle stops. Premium brake pads, such
as those available from Bosch, are manufactured from
vehicle-specific, specially-formulated friction materials
that deliver exceptional stopping power over a long
service life," McGrail said.
on the make and model of their vehicles, motorists
can select between ceramic or premium technology brake
pads. Ceramic pads, which feature tiny flecks of ceramic
embedded in the friction material, offer a luxury
feel and superior power and are generally preferred
by vehicle owners who are looking for the ultimate
in smooth, quiet, powerful braking. Bosch premium
technology brake pads, on the other hand, are designed
for high-hard-working vehicles such as trucks, mini-vans
and sports cars and are best suited for aggressive
driving styles and towing applications.
to minimize annoying brake noise, Bosch pads place
an exclusive platinum -enhanced underlayer between
the friction material and the pad's steel backing
"Brake pads and rotors are not commodity items," McGrail said, "Well-engineered, premium technology brake pads and rotors promise safe braking every time you hit the pedal for tens of thousands of miles." The brakes are your vehicle's most important safety feature. A complete and thorough check should cover every aspect of the system from the master cylinder to the calipers and wheel cylinders. Simply replacing the brake pads and nothing else will only invite trouble down the road.
For instance, disc brake pads require a perfectly clean, smooth and fine flat surface on the rotors to function at their best, and all rotors, like pads, are not equal either. If it is necessary to replace the rotors to ensure the proper surface, always replace them in pairs and make sure they are top quality and designed for the vehicle they are being installed on. Premium brake rotors such as those from Bosch, utilize original equipment type metallurgy to prevent pedal vibration, rotor warping and brake noise. Precision machining and vehicle specific cooling vanes maximize cooling, minimize vibration and provide a long service life.
Warning signs of brake wear
Recognizing the early warning signs of impending brake failure is critical. For example, "any out of the ordinary sound coming from the brakes can be one of the leading indicators that there is a problem," McGrail said. "Look out especially for a grinding noise." Other signs include an increase or decrease in brake dust or small metal flakes on the wheels, the car pulling to the left or right or the front end of the vehicle shaking when applying the brakes, or, the brakes feel 'soft.'
In 1978, Bosch introduced the world's first antilock brake system, and today Bosch supplies braking systems to car manufacturers around the world, including the Daimler-Chrysler, Ford and General Motors in the United States. The company has been committed to innovation and continuing technological research for the past 100 years and has set the standard for braking safety, durability and performance.
(Source: The Car Care Council)