What Is Brake Fade, and What Causes It?

March 15, 2021 6:18 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Have you ever had to slam on your brakes, only to find that your braking system isn’t as responsive as it should be? You may have experienced brake fade in New Palestine, IN. Since your brakes are a primary safety feature, you need to take this problem seriously. In fact, brake problems cause at least 25 percent of all car accidents caused by faulty equipment.

To avoid getting into accidents, make sure your brakes are in the best shape possible. Here’s how to identify brake fade and what causes the problem.

What is brake fade?

Brake fade is a sudden reduction in your vehicle’s braking ability. Your braking system may take longer to work, forcing you to press the brake pedal harder and for a longer period of time. This might escape your notice until you’re in a situation where you have to stop suddenly. Your car will still stop, but the brakes will be nowhere near as responsive as they once were.

What causes brake fade?

This type of brake problem in New Palestine, IN is essentially a loss of friction. Your braking system relies on calipers, rotors, brake pads and pistons to stop your car. When you press on the brake, the calipers squeeze the brake pads against the wheels. This generates friction and will slow the wheels until you come to a stop.

All that friction can create a lot of heat—usually up to 700 degrees Fahrenheit. Normally, the heat generated by braking has time to dissipate. We usually only press on the brakes for a few seconds at a time. However, if you have to brake especially hard or aggressively, such as down a long hill or in stop-and-go traffic, the heat may not have enough time to dissipate. This can cause brake fade. Your brakes will be much less responsive.

Brake fade can also be caused by overheated brake fluid or worn-out brake pads. If fluid is to blame, the brake might feel spongy when you press down. Worn-out brake pads will likely feel the same as they would if overheating is the problem—overall, they’ll be less responsive.

What should I do if my car has brake fade?

If your car seems to have brake fade, take it to your mechanic as soon as possible. Brake fade is a serious problem that can affect your ability to stop your car. If you have to brake suddenly when someone pulls out in front of you or walks out into the street, you may not be able to stop in time.

The best way to prevent brake fade is to avoid driving aggressively, downshift to slow down when possible and keep up with your regular brake maintenance. Having your brakes inspected yearly ensures that you stay on top of any problems, including worn-out brake pads.

If you need regular or emergency brake maintenance and repairs, bring your vehicle to Auto Air & Heating, Inc. We can fix all your brake problems in New Palestine, IN.

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