New Orleans Auto Repair

What is Brake Fade?

Brake fade is a sudden or temporary reduction of the brake power. You may be driving and notice that your car doesn't stop immediately upon applying brakes. If you notice that the car stops after applying brakes, but not as quickly as you expect, that might be a brake fade.

However, other factors, such as hydraulic or mechanical problems, can reduce the brake power. So, inspect the brake system and confirm the problem before concluding it's a brake fade.

What Causes Brake Fade?

The car brake system works by converting kinetic energy into heat energy. That's why the pads and rotors produce heat every time the car brakes are applied. If you are unfamiliar with the information, pass your hand near the brake rotors after driving the car for a long distance. You will notice the rotors are hot.

On the other hand, kinetic energy often rises with the square of velocity. So, braking at higher speeds or when the vehicle is loaded can overwork the system, thus generating excessive heat. As a result, the heat fails to dissipate quickly, and every time you apply brakes, the system becomes less responsive.

Types of Brake Fade

There are three scenarios in which you can experience the brake fade. Here we go:

  • Brake Pad Fade

Every brake pad manufacturer has a set temperature range on the instructions. This is determined by the material used to make the pads.

Suppose the friction exceeds the temperature range the pad can withstand; it starts to degrade. Additionally, it causes the resins to bind the pad compounds to out gas. This thin layer of gas causes the pad to skid off the disc, reducing the brake intensity.

  • Early Life Brake Fade

This happens when you install new brake pads in the car. The new pads release a certain gas that quickly reaches a high temperature. This condition is known as the green or early life fade. Fortunately, the brakes return to normal after driving for a few miles.

  • Brake Fluid Fade

When the brake fluid boils due to heavy braking, its moisture also forms vapor. Since the vapor is easier to compress, the brake pedal goes further downwards to the floor to achieve maximum brake power.

Ways to Prevent Brake Fade

The best approach is to avoid rough driving that can result in rapid braking. Secondly, lighten the loads and drive downhill using heavy gears and engine braking. If all fails, park the vehicle and allow the brake pads and fluids to cool.

Suppose you need your brake repaired by a professional; contact or visit NOLA Automotive Repairs today! Remember, your safety should be your priority.

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