Volvo Brake Maintenance – How to Avoid High Cost Brake Repairs
To avoid the high cost of brake repair, it is important to properly plan and budget for needed brake service repairs.
Three factors affect the failure rate of your brake pads:
- Driving style determines the life of your brake pads
- External conditions like weather
- Internal conditions like the coefficient of friction wear on brake pads
What is your driving style?
If you live in the Washington DC area like I do, then you are very familiar with the stop and go traffic patterns.
Stop and go traffic is not only hard on your vehicles engine but also on the braking system.
Constantly riding on your brakes is strong indicator of brake wear, so budget accordingly.
Highway driving is easier on the brakes, so chances are that you may go longer in between brake services.
Factors such as bad weather greatly affect road conditions.
When the weather is bad, your braking distance grows exponentially. On wet roads, the braking time of a vehicle traveling at 60 mph increases from 4.6 seconds to 6.1 seconds, and the total braking distance shoots up from 271 feet to 333 feet.
That is more than the length of a football field, and the faster you go, the more time and distance it takes to stop.
In snowy conditions, even with snow tires, total stopping time jumps to 10.6 seconds and 533 feet.
If you drive an SUV you may develop a false sense of security. SUV drivers sometimes get overly confident in snowed out conditions, but we all know that you’re not immune to the laws of physics. The heavier the vehicle, the greater the braking distance.
From physics, we know that kinetic energy (energy in motion) is dependent on the mass of the vehicle. SUV’s have significantly more mass than sedans; therefore, the stopping distance will be more due to a higher Kinetic Energy (KE).
Internal Conditions (coefficients of friction wear on brake pads)
The basic braking system converts kinetic energy of a vehicle into heat energy through frictional devices.
These frictional devices are known as brake pads.
The coefficient of friction of the brake pad material determines how well it performs under certain conditions, such as temperature.
For example, if you have a habit of riding your brakes, the temperature of the brake pads will rise significantly, this means that your brake pads will wear much faster.
Brakes with a high coefficient of friction, wear faster and perform better than brakes with lower coefficient of friction which last longer but do not perform as well.
Volvo brake pads are designed to resist high temperatures; hence, the brake pads are not compromised by high temperatures which greatly improves stopping distance.
In conclusion, the most effective means of reducing wear on your brake pads is to simply slow down. By driving at safe speeds you not only shorten the braking distance but you also avoid the high cost of new brakes pads and rotors.
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