Being the only thing stopping you from crashing into the car in front of you, your brakes are an essential part of your vehicle and should be properly maintained for optimum quality and long life. There are a few ways to improve your braking power if you feel as though you aren’t already getting the most out of them; read on for 3 helpful tips that could raise the standard of your stopping power:
Embedding the Pads
Most pads come with a protective layer covering them; this is good while not in use, as it prolongs their shelf life, but a bad thing once they’re mounted on your wheels. To remove this layer without damaging rotors or the pads, travel for about 2km while lightly depressing your pedal. Go slow and steady and let gentle use wear the pads in naturally, like breaking in a new pair of shoes. Not only does this process get rid of that coating, but it helps your brakes fit more closely against the rotor since regular wear on this part will have left it looking not quite as smooth and level as it did a brand new. This new fit makes for tighter braking and more efficient stopping under pressure.
Sometimes air bubbles get introduced when fluid is pumped into your calipers upon compression of your pedal. This creates a barrier that leads to less friction when you try to stop your car; to remove this problem, you can bleed your brakes while simultaneously topping up on fluid. When performing this process, you’ll need to jack your car up and get it onto stands so you can remove your tire and get a good look at the bleed nipple. Once the reservoir is open, have a friend pump the pedal a few times for you as you remove the nipple. Repeat this until enough fluid has been released and you’re content that no more air is trapped. This can be repeated on all tires to create an all-around improvement in performance.
Save Your Rotors
The most common sense method of prolonging and improving braking power is to change pads regularly before they wear down to the rotor. Once a pad has been ground away and your rotor becomes exposed, this is what will be compressed during a stop, and it can slowly destroy this part of your vehicle, which will make for some very expensive repairs. Different driving styles will dictate how long a brake will last; an aggressive driver may need to change them once a year, where a more relaxed driver can get away with a few years in between.
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