Performance brakes are special-purpose brakes designed to improve the braking performance of cars fitted with aftermarket brake kits. They’re designed to be used by professional drivers in racing, but nowadays it seems that a lot of people are having them installed in their vehicles. They’re now significantly more common than ‘normal’ brakes, which have been used for hundreds of years.
This article will explain the advantages and disadvantages of using performance brakes to help you figure out whether you should consider getting them. That way, you can make the best decision for your specific circumstances.
There are plenty of reasons performance brakes are getting the attention of more and more drivers. Here are just some of them:
1. High Engagement, Giving Better Response
Performance brakes are built for maximum engagement between the driver and the car. When you focus on the feel of your foot on the brake pedal, you’ll become aware that the car is responding to every movement you make. High engagement makes for better driving since you'll have more control and give a better response in any situation.
2. Perfect For Every Skill Level
Since performance brakes allow drivers to choose which parts they want, no matter what their technical skill level is, there’s a brake system for them. You can get custom brake kits that’ll let you be part of the installation so you can give your car exactly what it needs without any risks. This also means that since every car needs a different setup, there are modifications available to fit any make and model.
3. Provides Better Control
Switching to performance brakes allows you to adjust how quickly your vehicle slows down when you step on the brake pedal. You can stop earlier, giving you more time to work with before hitting a hazard. It also helps drivers determine what speed is the most appropriate for the situation they’re in.
Engagement between driver and car doesn’t mean anything if you don’t have control over your vehicle. With performance brakes, the right pressure on the brake pedal lets you stop the car in exactly the right spot.
4. Allows Driver To Brake Fast
It’s easier to make efficient stops with performance brakes. Drivers can brake fast and avoid any one of the common braking problems out there. Braking too hard for conditions, locking up your wheels, or braking late are just some of the issues you’ll eliminate when you have a proper brake system in your vehicle.
5. Durable and Reliable
When you invest in performance brakes, the last thing you want is for them to fail when you need them most. These brakes are durable and reliable because they won’t make unnecessary or dramatic stops that’ll stretch out their life span. When your car slows down efficiently with smooth, consistent braking, it won’t break down as much and maintenance costs will go down, too. This means less money spent on emergency repairs and a better chance at surviving a breakdown while driving away from danger instead of toward it.
6. Has A Nice Visual Appeal
Performance brakes look great under your wheels, so there’s no reason not to get them installed right away. It isn’t just about how they improve your braking ability but also about how they look on your car. Owning a performance vehicle should come with owning performance brakes so you can show off the specs of your ride while increasing your safety.
Of course, performance brakes also come with several downsides you have to take into account. Those include the following:
1. Susceptible To Heat Fade
They often have a larger diameter than standard brakes, which causes them to heat up faster, resulting in heat fade. This is a loss of braking effectiveness because the brake has become too hot. Performance brakes also don’t offer as much resistance to fading as a standard system would with repeated heavy braking.
2. May Require Heavy Maintenance
Routine service is more expensive for these brakes than for standard ones. Removing and replacing performance brake pads involve a more difficult process, and the callipers require special tools that can be pricey.
Furthermore, many of the vehicles they’re installed in use two-piece front rotors instead of the one-piece units used with standard brakes. This means performance brakes must be replaced as a set rather than individually and requires several procedures to ensure they sit properly against the hubs when installed.
3. Safety Risks In Heavy Vehicles
Performance brakes often have unproven track records in heavy vehicles such as commercial trucks and buses, meaning they pose potential safety risks. Some people also claim there’s no statistical proof that using performance brakes increases stopping power when they’re used in heavy vehicles.
4. Higher Noise Levels Compared To Standard Brakes
Performance brakes are often designed for racing purposes, which can lead to higher noise levels in normal driving situations. This’ll make it more difficult for them to pass state inspection tests in some jurisdictions because the decibel level of performance brakes is usually measured during testing by using a device that contains rubber brake shoes inside the vent holes. Therefore, if performance brakes have solid metal shoe contact surfaces instead of rubber, passing an inspection test becomes impossible.
Although performance brakes are now quite common, not everybody agrees they’re a good idea. However, the vast majority of drivers claim they’re better than standard brakes. Now that you know their pros and cons, assess your needs and priorities in order to determine the best thing to do for you and your car.
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