Performance brake pads

Car tuning tips:Performance Brake Pads"

Brake pads are the essential items when it comes to stopping your car. Their function is even more vital than that of the disks as it is the pad that creates the friction and the disks main job is to dissipate the heat generated. Uprated pads will make a big difference to a cars stopping power.

The pads comprise of a high friction material and are shaped, often  with a  groove in the middle to help prevent squeeling. As the pad is applied to the disk surface it creates heat effectively converting the forward momentum of the car into heat. The disks main job is to dissipate the heat generated.

There are a number of pads to choose from and although there are lots to choose from we shall generalise and put them into a few groups.;

Budget pads. These are typically non branded OEM replacements and offer a long life. The downside of these are the lack of friction. To get the longer life the friction surface is compromised. If you have a performance car then we strongly recommend that you avoid these budget pads at all costs.

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OEM pads. These pads come from the original manufacturer and have been specified for your vehicle. These are generally a good balance between friction and wear rate. Lots of R&D went into the construction and specification of your brake pads and it would be foolhardy to dismiss this. Use OEM pads as a minimum.

Now we come to the performance pads.
These come in various grades ranging from a fast road to track days.The downside of these pads is that they take a while to get up to operating temperature. From cold they offer very poor braking but they can operate to very high temperatures.

Getting a track pad for the road is not a very good option as most of the time it will be cold and not operating at peak performance. However if you are doing track days then a performance pad is a very good idea.

Car Tuning Tips have seen standard pads literally on fire after some heavy track day action. This amount of heat in the pad is obviously not a good thing if it will start to smoke or catch fire. On a track day your cars brakes will be operating far and beyond the intended temperature range.

If you are doing a track day session on standard pads we would suggest that you stop every few laps and check the condition of your pads.

Upgrading to a dot 5.1 brake fluid will certainly help to minimise heat related braking issues.

This is why it is essential to get your brakes uprated and choose the right pads for your application. Failure to do so can be both very costly and very dangerous.

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