FAQs—Pontiac Brake Pad Set
- Why is it important to check the brake fluid reservoir level before I install my new Pontiac brake pad set?
This is necessary because as the brake pads wear that little piston that pushes them out and move them towards the brake disc, there will be a drop in the brake fluid level since the piston’s displacement is replaced by the fluid. If the brake fluid reservoir is filled to the maximum, it can overflow as you push the pistons back to remove the old pads out and put the new ones in. So, make it a point to check your reservoir level first and if it is full, get a tool that you could use in removing some fluid and putting the fluid level back to the minimum. This is more often the case with the rear brake reservoir since the one in the front brakes is more tightly sealed. Don’t forget that the brake fluid can strip your paint, so make it a point not to spill any.
- I’ve read somewhere that I can apply anti-seize lubricant on the metal contact edges as well as on the back of the brake pads before installation. What’s that for?
The anti-seize lubricant is formulated to prevent excessive squeaking. Make sure, however, that no amount of lubricant will get into the inside portion of the brake pads. If you made the mistake of putting the lubricant on the friction material of the pads, then you just rendered your pads useless as they will no longer be able to deliver the needed friction when braking.
- What’s the proper way to test if I’ve properly installed my new Pontiac brake pad set?
Test the new brake pads by driving not more than 5 mph (8.0 km/h) on a quiet street with only a few traffic, and then do normal braking. If your ride stopped normally and without any unusual feel on the brake pedal, drive again. This time, go up to 10 mph (16 km/h). Do the test for several more times, gradually increasing your speed up to 35 or 40 mph (56 or 64 km/h). It is also a good idea to check the brakes’ performance in reverse. With such tests, you can be sure that your brake-pad installation will be a success. These tests will also help seat the brake pads in place.
- While testing the new pads, I hear a grinding metal-to-metal noise. What does that mean? Did I make a mistake in installing the pads?
Yes, that grinding, metal-to-metal kind of sound is an indication that you have installed the pads reversed. Perhaps you have mistakenly installed the pad’s metal surface facing out. This should be dealt with immediately as it will surely affect your braking performance. If what you hear during the test is a little squeak, that’s normal.
- How often should I get my Pontiac brake pads checked?
It depends on how often you use your ride and, hence, your brakes. If you’re a frequent driver, it will help if you inspect your pads every 3 months. An average driver can do the check every 6-12 months while infrequent drivers will be fine even if they do the checking every 8-12 months.
- After a friend has told me the pros of carbon ceramic brakes, I am now thinking of switching to them. Do you know the drawbacks of this type of brakes?
Aside from the fact that carbon ceramic brakes don’t come cheap, there’s a common complaint that this type of brakes delivers less braking feel on the first part of pedal travel, particularly when cold. This is because the maximum operating temperature of carbon materials is significantly higher than the best possible working temperature of some other pad materials. The brakes will only feel normal once they heat up.
- I don’t drive on the tracks; I’m just an ordinary commuter or road-only driver. Is it worth it if I upgrade my brakes to more expensive carbon ceramic brakes?
If you’re going to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of carbon ceramic brakes, they seem to be an ideal upgrade only for those who really need them, especially those who are frequently taking their ride to the tracks. Those ordinary, road-only drivers will enjoy only little benefit from this type of brakes.