You’re driving down the street in Willow Grove, Horsham, or Abington, PA, when suddenly the car in front of you starts slowing down. Of course, you step on your brakes to slow down as well. That’s because we all know why our cars have brakes and what they do. But what do all the parts that make up the brakes entail?
Brake pads and brake rotors are two of the biggest parts of the braking system, and they work together to make your driving experience safe and smooth. If you’ve ever wondered how either component works, then you’re in luck. Our team at Faulkner Alfa Romeo Willow Grove put together a guide on what these pieces of equipment do.
The brake pads are what contact and apply pressure and friction to a car’s rotors. They’re attached to the calipers, which are essentially clamps that close when you press on the brake pedal. The calipers grab onto the brake rotors, and when that happens, the wheels will stop turning and the vehicle will slow down.
Most brake pads are semi-metallic, but they do come in other types of materials. Whether you want semi-metallic pads or organic brake pads like carbon, rubber, or fiberglass, you’ll be able to find brake pads that work for your vehicle.
Depending on the type of brake pad, the way heat is dispersed differs, and they may wear down differently. That’s why it’s important to make sure they’re changed semi-regularly and are maintained. Because brakes don’t have a predetermined lifespan and a set of brake pads can last anywhere from 25,000 to 60,000 miles, you’ll want to keep up with regular maintenance checks.
Though they work hand-in-hand with the brake pads, brake rotors are responsible for a different job. Attached directly to the wheels of your vehicle through a brake caliper, the rotors are what brake pads clamp onto to apply friction and slow down your car. As the rotors slow their spinning, so do the wheels of your vehicle. They are also referred to as brake discs.
Material-wise, brake rotors are mostly made of reliable, durable metal, like steel or iron. Plus, they’re designed to allow for heat produced during the braking process to be evenly distributed throughout the system. This helps stop the rotors from overheating.
Both brake pads and brake rotors are important when it comes to keeping you safe on the road. So, what’s the difference between them? One of the biggest differences between the two is their shape and function. Brake pads, which are thick and square-shaped, are applied to the rotors, which are circular discs.
They also might need to be replaced at different times. Your vehicle’s mileage fluctuates depending on multiple factors—such as the type of vehicle you drive, how you drive, and where you drive. For instance, if you drive near or in a city like Philadelphia, you’re likely to put increased pressure on your brake pads due to stop-and-go traffic.
For best performance, bring your car in for routine maintenance and pay attention to any warning signs such as squeaking, grinding, or a vibrating brake pedal. These things can indicate when you need your brake pads or rotors serviced.
Whether you need to get the rotors checked out or you’re deciding what material you want your brake pads to be made of, our team can help. Here at Faulkner Alfa Romeo Willow Grove, we'll get you back on the roads of Willow Grove, Horsham, and Abington, Pennsylvania, as soon as possible. Contact us today!