The brakes on your vehicle are a safety critical part. It doesn’t matter if you drive a lorry or a motorcycle, the brakes need to be at their optimum level at all times. Brakes are made up of three parts: brake discs, brake pads and brake cables. Different types of cars have different types of braking systems, for example, drum brakes but most modern cars usually just have the former. When a manufacturer builds a vehicle, the standard brakes that the vehicle is fitted with will meet the worldwide braking standards.
However, there is nothing wrong with trying to improve the performance of your brakes by enhancing the materials or by changing the set up that the manufacture originally installed. Below we will list 5 of the best ways of improving your brake performance as well as look at some areas that may help your braking performance that may not be necessarily linked to the actual braking system.
The brakes on your vehicle will be designed to be able to stop the size and weight of your vehicle. The manufacturer will have also have considered the performance of the vehicle as this will have an impact on the type of brakes and braking system that your vehicle will be fitted with.
In modern vehicles, a disc braking system is normally fitted. The disc is fitted to the hub and then pads are fitted to each side of the disc and held in place by some callipers. The materials used for these parts can vary and the standard material used in most cars is a semi metallic metal as it is long wearing and can transfer heat effectively, so that the brakes don’t overheat. If you have a high-performance car, it could be fitted with a carbon ceramic material as this material increases the performance of the brake system and this way you won’t suffer any loss when it comes to braking performance when the brakes heat up.
2. Brake Upgrades
If you have modified your vehicle to have a greater BHP, you may have upgraded the ECU, fitted performance tyres and added some exterior styling, but is also very important not to forget the brakes. Search online for ‘brake specialists’ as this is the best way of getting advice on the type of upgrade that would suit your vehicle. Sometimes, when your vehicle needs brake repairs it is worth looking at upgrade options at that point, as you may find the brake replacement cost is lower than you originally thought. Prices can vary from place to place, but it is best to search the internet for local fitters. Search terms like brakes Tauranga or discounted brakes in Tauranga to get the best results.
3. Braking Systems
Most modern cars are fitted with ABS (anti-lock braking system) which prevent the wheels from locking up under heavy braking. ABS helps to reduce stopping distances which means the roads become safer. ABS has been around for many years, so over time, the systems have improved. Car manufacturers have developed the technology to a degree where ABS systems work alongside other driving aids which have been fitted to modern cars. These driving aids not only work to help stop your vehicle, they also help with the traction too. If a wheel hits a slippery surface, the power can be removed from the wheel and the wheel can also be slowed by the brakes which helps to minimise the slip.
Another way to improve braking performance is by making sure that your tyres are in good condition. Tyres are the only contact with the road, so having good quality tyres fitted to your vehicle is the best way of improve your braking performance. Branded tyres are usually the best in terms of grip and fuel economy. Each brand of tyre has a rating for its braking performance. It is also worth checking with your car manufacturer to see if there is a particular brand that they recommend. When picking a tyre, it is also worth looking at the type of driving that you do, as some tyres are more suited to certain terrains or weather conditions. An example of this is if you live in climate that is particularly wet, then getting a tyre that has better performance in wet weather is a better option for you. Dry, humid climates can also affect tyre performance as the road temperature is higher which could cause quicker tyre degradation, lowering the grip and stopping the performance.
Servicing your vehicle will help with braking performance as the brakes will be checked to ensure that there is enough life left in the discs and pads. In some cases, the service centre may clean your braking system as a build up of brake carbon can reduce the effectiveness of your brakes. Regular servicing also looks at other areas that may affect your brake performance such as tyre condition and suspension.
As mentioned above, tyres are critical to brake performance but suspension is another factor to take into account. Suspension helps to keep the tyres and wheels in contact with the road surface. The suspension fitted to your vehicle is not just there for comfort, it also helps keeps the vehicle stable on the road. If your suspension is working property your wheels will spend more time in contact with the road, which will help with the brake performance. When a brake pedal is pressed it is only effective if all the wheels are touching the road. So regular servicing and checking your car’s tyres will also help to enhance your braking performance.
As you can see from the above, improving braking performance is not just about the actual brakes. There are many areas on the vehicle which are related to braking performance such as the tyres, the engine and the suspension. So, when considering the ways in which to improve your brake performance, you need to take these areas into account too.