Worn brake pads and discs
Like your patience, brake pads and discs wear thin, but usually with more serious consequences. Worn brakes increase your stopping distance and if they’re worn through, may fail entirely. Don’t end up in the boot of the driver ahead of you. Check your brakes at least every six months and replace worn pads and discs as soon as it becomes necessary.
“Braking in” new pads
The pros call this “bedding-in” and while it’s not mandatory, it improves braking performance and will make your pads and discs last longer. The aim is to take the sheen off new pads and properly couple them to your discs so they don’t scar the discs. Here’s what you’re supposed to do.
- On a long, straight and quiet road, accelerate to about 55km/h, then brake gently to around 10km/h. Do this four times to warm up your pads.
- Now increase speed to 70km/h before braking to 15km/h. Again, do this about four times.
- Now park your car and let it cool for about an hour and your brake pads are bedded.
NB! Exercise extreme caution when doing this. Don’t do it on a busy road and do hit the brakes hard if something or someone gets in your way.