ABS or Antilock Braking System
Brake Pad Selection
How does my brake system work?
Do I need to change rotors every time when I change pads?
When old rotors are reused without checking for the manufacture minimum thickness or turned few things can happen.
- If the rotor is below minimum thickness, it will tend to over heat and warp the rotor. This will lead to more brake noise, and pedal pulsation.
- If the rotor is not turned, the surface of the rotor will most likely not be smooth laterally and there may also be grooves on the surface. This will lead to more brake noise, and pedal pulsation.
Correct process when installing new brake pads:
When new rotors or turned/resurfaced old rotors above minimum thickness is used during a brake pad change, there will be better contact between the surface of brake pads and rotors . This will help reduce brake noise, pedal pulsation, and less comebacks.
Even when new rotors or turned rotors are installed, run-on can still happen early on. Few key things to help reduce run-on when installing rotors.
- Removing all rust on the hub surface, and on the inside contact areas of the rotor (if old rotors is used) with a metal brush. This will help to have a full contact surface between the brake pad and rotor, and help reduce lateral run-out.
- Put on your rotor with lug nuts to hold it in place, then measure for lateral run-out. General tolerance should be <0.003 in (for specifics, check manufacture handbook), if over you can buy correction plates to fix the issue.
With these few simple steps, you are able to not worry about brakes until it is the next time to change it!
What is Coefficient of Friction?
What is Brake Fade?
What causes Brake Noise?
How to fix rotor Run-out/Warping?
WARNING: To perform automobile repairs requires professional training, tools, equipment, and a facility in automotive services. The following is meant for professionals. Please consult the nearest professional auto mechanic to help correct any warping issues. We will not be held responsible for any damages and financial cost incurred to you, your vehicle, and equipment if you attempt any steps giving here to fix rotor run-out.
Issue: rotor, wheel, and lug nuts were never properly seated and/or tightened to manufacturer torque specifications, which causes the wheels to vibrate during braking showing signs of “warping”.
Correction: Seat your rotor flat to the hub, mount the tire and tighten the lug nuts using the STAR pattern (like drawing a star, where your pen starts will be the 1st lug to tie-down, then to the 2nd location of the star, etc). Make sure that the rotor disc, and wheel are seated properly, and the lug nuts are tightened to manufacture recommended torque specifications.
• Rust, dirt, and debris build up on hub
Issue: Rust, dirt, or debris can build up on the surface of the hub which may cause the contact surface to be uneven. This formation of bumps will cause newly installed rotors to show “warping” indicators.
Correction: Use a hub cleaning tool or metal brush; clean the surface of the hub thoroughly. Take the rotor, look inside the contact surface to the hub and clean off any dirt or debris.
The surface of the wheel hub are sometimes uneven, and no matter what brand of rotor you buy “warping” will continue. This can be solved by using a Dial Indicator for rotors. Test the surface of the rotor to check for lateral run-out that is out of manufacturer specs. Once the spot of unevenness is located a Hub Correction Plate will fix the issue.
• Wheel balance
Issue: An un-balanced tire can cause the car to have signs of “warping” during braking.
Correction: Take your wheel to a wheel balance machine and re-balance your rim/tires.
• Extreme tread unbalance
Issue: In extreme cases, wear and tear damages on your tire treads will give signs of “warping”
Correction: Visually inspect the tire tread on all your tires, and consult the manufacturer specification on tread levels. If treads are out of manufacture spec or shows extreme damages, replace the tire.
• Replacing only brake pads or brake disc rotor
Issue: By replacing one but not the other, the old part might have uneven wear on the surface of the contact areas, which can cause warping.
Correction: If you are able to indicate that the old rotor is wrapped and you do not plan to replace it with a new one you may take the rotor to your local auto store to have them resurface the rotor. If it is the brake pad, we recommend you to replace the brake pad all together.
What is the Thermal Scorched process?
How does Positive Molding Process work?
Do I need to break-in or bed-in my new brake pad?
Remember if you have old rotors, we highly recommend you to get them resurfaced, and to also clean the surface the rotor with warm soap water both FRONT and BACK after the rotor has been resurfaced.
a. Recommended to be performed on a closed or empty roadway to avoid endangering pedestrians and properties. Do not break any traffic safety laws while attempting the break-in session.
b. Accelerate the vehicle to 30mph, and then firmly depress the brake pedal to 5mph. If anti-lock braking system (ABS) is activated, lift pressure to the brake pedal until ABS is deactivated. Do not at any time during this process completely depress and hold the brake pedal down during a stop – this will cook the brakes and may create hot spots on the new rotor.
c. Repeat step (b), above, 5 to 10 times. At this time you may smell an odor and see smoke coming from the wheels – this is normal. If you experience a loss of brake pedal pressure, it is recommended to continue to (d).
d. Drive several minutes while minimizing the use of your brakes to cool down your rotors to near ambient temperature.
How long will my brake pads last?
Imagine a truck driver starting from New York City drives to Los Angeles. The driver might drive one to two thousand miles using their brakes minimally. Now imagine you live in Los Angeles, and you have to drive on the 405 Freeway for 15 miles every day to and from work. You may have to use using your brakes for 30 minutes out of the 45 minutes you are traveling. To ensure your the longevity of your brake pad’s life, we recommend you to follow safe driving practices promoted by the DMV.
Are the holes or slots in my rotor functional?
CAUTION: Companies such as Brembo, spends millions of dollars on research to understand how many holes there should be, where the holes should be drilled, diameter, how much of angle of chamfer, what type of materials used on the rotor, among other things to decrease the chance that drilled-rotor will not crack under extreme pressure and heat. On the other hand, a vast majority of drilled rotors on the market today are manufactured without much research. In the short run, they may help you reduce heat in the rotor, but may cause catastrophic failure of the rotor in the long run.
Keep in mind, by gaining a cleaner contact surface and a cooler rotor, you are actually losing contact surface between the brake pad and the brake disc.
Besides Drilled Rotors, are there other types rotors that can cool down the rotor without the drilled holes?
How to test for Rotor strength?