- What is brake pad glazing?
One of the more common problems with brake pads, glazing is the crystallization of the friction material caused by overheating or improper “bedding in” of the brake pads, resulting in poor stopping performance, stronger vibrations, and fractures in the brake pad material itself. It can hamper a brake’s performance and put your life at risk, so make sure to use brake pads with the correct heat range and bed them in properly to prevent glazing from occurring.
- What are the differences between ceramic brake pads and semi metallic brake pads?
Two of the most common types of pads in the market, ceramic brake pads and semi-metallic brake pads have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. Ceramic pads, which are made of specially engineered ceramic and copper fiber, are quieter, generate less brake dust, and last longer. However, they wear easily when used in heavy duty applications and are more expensive. Semi-metallic brake pads, on the other hand, are more resistant to cold and heavy-duty use, less expensive, and are more forgiving on the rotor, but they are louder than their ceramic counterparts, generate more black dust, and have a shorter service life.
- Should I switch to performance brake pads?
Ditching your car’s stock brake pads for a pair of performance pads has its advantages, as well as its disadvantages, depending on the type of performance brake pads you intend to get for your Scion. Aftermarket ceramic brake pads, for example, are quieter than factory brake pads and handle high operating temperatures better. Some performance pads are also designed to withstand the quick stops and frequent braking common with city driving.
On the other hand, high performance brake pads designed for racing vehicles are not recommended for use in street cars for the simple reason that they will not work. The friction material in racing pads are designed to work only in the extremely high temperature conditions that racing vehicles operate in and will not generate friction in ordinary passenger cars. So before you get a new set of performance brake pads for your ride, make sure that it is street-worthy first.
- Why are “bedding in” new brake pads important?
Bedding in new set of brake pads is highly recommended because it removes the impurities on the brake pad’s friction material. The procedure, which consists of frequent and moderate braking on a straight stretch of road, also creates a thin protective film of residue from the pad onto the rotor surface. Newly installed brake pads must undergo bedding in as soon as possible to prevent glazing and ensure optimum braking performance.
- When should I replace the brake pads in my car?
The best way to determine whether the brake pads in your car need replacing is through an ocular inspection. Most brake pads sold today come with lining indicators that show whether the friction material has worn out. High pitched squealing noises, which are caused by the shim of the brake pad rubbing against the rotor, is also another effective indicator of brake pad wear. So, as soon as your car’s brake pads wear out, make sure to change them immediately. If not replaced on time, the friction material may become eroded to the point that the pads start to grind away at the brake rotor and damaging it in the process. In such cases, both the brake pads and the brake have to be replaced.
- Should I replace the brake rotors as well when changing the brake pads?
Ideally, you should change the brake rotors every time you change to a new set of pads, as the rotors may have been bent or eroded by the old pads and may not perform as well as before even with new brake pads. Check the rotor’s surface with a ruler or a straight edge; if there is a depression that’s 0.5mm deep or more, you need to replace the brake rotors. Metallic grinding noises when braking may also indicate that the brake rotors need replacing along with the pads.
- What is brake dust?
The black residue or “brake dust” in your car’s wheels is actually carbon and iron particles generated by the brake pads and brake rotor when braking. As most brake pads contain metal fibers in them, brake dust will be inevitable. However, it can be minimized by getting pads with less metal content or installing brake shields on the wheels.