You’re driving along in your Porsche that you just purchased. It’s perfectly perfect in every way… until you employ its high-powered stopping for its high-powered engine. You then hear a high-pitched squeal that takes your breath away. The first question in your head is, “what could be wrong with my brand-new car? Part of the reason I bought this car is so I wouldn’t have to deal with ‘regular’ car issues!” Let’s explore the ways a high-performance car might have some issues as compared with a regular car.
What Is Brake Squeal?
Brakes operate through friction. There may not be many things that are more annoying than that loud sound, but when you have a very high-performance car, you are working with a very high-performance engine, thus requiring very high performance stopping power. When brake pads are pressed down onto the rotor, there is slight vibration. This vibration is released as sound waves, which bounce off the flat surface of the rotor and create brake squeal.
Types Of Brake Pads
High performance cars, as mentioned above, require high performance stopping ability. While its no surprise that you would need a high-quality brake system, there’s often more of a focus on performance and so brake noise becomes a secondary issue to solve. There is certainly a market out there for specialty brakes for high performance vehicles. Both for racecar level, and cars in regular use. High performance braking systems often have larger brake pads, and so the vibrations mentioned above can be greater. The materials also play a part in the squealing sound. It is more likely that the material used in high performance brake pads, and the material used for high performance rotors lend themselves to exchanging the heat energy produced from friction to sound energy (At high enough speeds, this energy can actually be exchanged for light, which is why some race car brake pads appear to glow when in use!) At Advanced Auto Sports, we understand high performance brakes and their material, so if you have questions, don’t hesitate to give us a call or plan an appointment here.
Why Do Regular Cars Brakes Squeal?
One of the differences that high performance brake pads offer in their specialty brake pad materials is that they do not wear down as quickly. Regular brake pads do tend to wear down and this can be a cause of brake noise. Brake pads have lining that sits on a backing plate. When the lining wears down, brakes can begin to squeal because the lining is gone and the backplate is now pressing down on the rotor (some brake pads are even designed to squeal when the lining wears down!). There can also be problems such as uneven-ness in the pads themselves, leading to the vibrations that create sound energy that is amplified. If you’re using cheaper brake pads, this could be the case. Another issue that can also apply to high performance brakes is incorrect installation. Fortunately, Advanced Auto Sports nips this problem in the bud with their multitude of high-performance experienced technicians.
When Is It Serious?
In both high-performance vehicles, and vehicles that are not high performance, if you have questions, ask your technicians! It is far better to have a question answered and find out that you were worried about nothing, then run the risk of letting a potential problem go on for a long period of time. Then it becomes possible for one part of your vehicle to influence the wear down of another. As you probably already know, the bigger the problem, normally the more expensive it becomes to fix. Especially as the cold weather is upon us, having your car checked regularly to keep it in top performance is a great way to go. Happy trails!