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What Is Braking Power Loss and How to Avoid It


Oct 14, 2021

In the dictionary, the word “to disappear” is clearly defined, among others, as “cease to exist”. However, according to the car service station in Gurgaon, it’s a term you didn’t expect to refer to as safety-critical components such as brakes.  But, the decay of the braking force is a real phenomenon. Moreover, while the term is usually associated with track or street racing, it also applies to standard cars, especially while braking at higher speeds or under heavy loads. Therefore, it is essential to understand what causes the braking force’s loss and how it can be avoided. 

What is brake loss?

Braking force loss is a temporary and sudden reduction in braking performance caused due to excessive heating of the braking element resulting from repeated braking under heavy loads or at high speeds. Unlike a braking failure caused due to mechanical or hydraulic fault, the entire system is usually in good working condition, and the braking force returns (but not necessarily) to the same level when the issue is resolved. 

What is the cause of the brake power loss?

Simply put, brakes function by converting kinetic energy into heat. Each time the brake is pushed, the system will generate lots of heat. Under usual driving conditions, the heat should be dissipated to the environment and other system elements as soon as the brakes are released. As kinetic energy increases with increasing speed, braking at higher speeds or under load causes an exponentially increased demand for braking system performance, generating much more heat. This excessive heat can accumulate quickly in the system and, if not efficiently dissipated, may just result in a loss of braking force.

Types of braking force decays:

Let’s start with the various types of braking power loss before we move on to how to avoid it:

Loss of braking force on brake pads:

In most cases, each brake pad is specified in a maximum temperature range. The friction pad performance starts to decline when operated outside the limits. It causes the resins that bind the pad elements to evaporate, resulting in a thin layer of high-temperature gas between the pad and disc. According to the professional mechanic of car repair in Gurgaon, this new layer causes the brake pads to slide on the disc, temporarily reducing the pad-to-disc friction and braking force. 

The brake pads may also transfer a thin, uneven layer of friction material to the disc’s surface at higher temperatures. Also, brake pads by rubbing against an uneven brake disc surface can cause the disc to heat up irregularly. If the temperature rise in some areas exceeds 650 °C, the cast iron changes structurally and turns into a hard material called cementite. In addition, such an occurrence can also lead to brake vibration and premature wear of the discs. 

Loss of braking force with new pads:

As a rule, the new brake pads release gases after the high temperature’s first few times and reduce friction forces. However, there is good news: it can be avoided by bringing the friction lining to high temperatures under controlled conditions – a process called brake burn-in. 

As a result, both mating surfaces can transfer the friction layer to the components (i.e. from block to disc and from disc to pad) to fit together and ensure optimal braking performance from the start of use. Contrary to the loss of braking on the pads, this even transfer of friction material positively affects braking performance when new pads are installed. 

About the Company: 

At Getpistop, our professional mechanics understand all sorts of car problems and also know how to fix them. As a responsible car owner, do not wait until your car becomes incapable of driving. Visit our dedicated repair shop for comprehensive diagnostics for the safety of your loved ones.