Car brakes are a serious safety item and to get the best from your car and avoid a possible accident you need to treat such items and the servicing of them with great respect.
The modern petrol engine car can generate up to 400 horsepower with 2 tons of metal travelling at speeds of over 120 miles per hour. The heat generated in stopping a car from such speeds is enough to heat up 7 gallons of water to boiling points so that indicates the amount of energy that is transformed by car brakes into heat when you use the brakes hard.
Braking hard like this shows up the quality of cheap and nasty car brakes in a flash when brake fade and even complete loss of brake effectiveness can occur. Modern car brakes consist of a hydraulic brake system employing four brake rotors and four brake calipers all inter connected and balanced. Temperatures of the brake pads alone can pass 1000 degrees in heavy braking and brake fade on cheap car brakes can be as low as at 400 degrees.
There are numerous ways to service car brakes, many people who have a reasonable degree of mechanical skills do this at home in fact DIY fitting of auto brakes is one of the largest segments of vehicle servicing. Modern aids such as install DVDs are available and can be found on the internet and with a bit of luck when buying your car brakes you might even get one for free.
There are also national chains of brake fitting stations who fit car brakes and whilst some are better than others these do about 80% of the work on car brakes in the USA and 60% in Europe.. Other people servicing car brakes include independent garages, main dealers and about 8-10% of them who use the home install method.
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Much of the home install customers fitting brake pads at home have chosen to do so as the types of parts they want are simply not available at chain stores. Every service shop will recommend and try to sell to you what he has on the shelf, cant blame them for that but are these really a quality of auto brakes you know or can depend on, maybe not.
So the next time you need new auto brakes on your car try the internet route and you may be pleasantly surprised. Even if you but auto brakes of the desired quality online at least you know what you are having fitted if you purchase the parts and take them to a local garage for installation.
There are lots of ways to get what you need from the internet these days, the internet is making the buying of any product especially auto parts a level playing field. With auto brakes where some degree of skill and care is required to the job done right it is wise to sue the guidance of things like installation help which is available on DVD from some better websites. These can cost a few dollars or may even be free with auto brake purchases.
Brakes have changed very little in their basic concept since first introduced in the mid 1950’s after drum brakes because less fashionable and the industry standard has become disc pads working on cast iron brake rotors. Cast iron is a very useful material in this application since it is relatively inexpensive and able to withstand huge temperatures in use of brakes without degradation of the material matrix. In heavier vehicle such as cars and with such uses even steel would distort and buckle and would not be an ideal choice for brakes. Motorcycles however do use stainless steel brake rotors in most cases because the brake rotors on a motorcycle are external and run at quite low temperatures. A recent study of from motorcycle brake temperatures showed that the brake rotor itself never exceeded 280 degrees C in temp whereas car brakes regularly hit 300-400 degrees and even more. Cast iron brake rotors, which are made thicker on car brake application than a steel motorcycle rotor are quite heavy and this tends to limit from being used on Motorcycles where weight is an important consideration.
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