One of the most important components of a vehicle are the brakes. Living in a hot weather climate will unfortunately have a negative impact on how they perform.
Why does this happen and what exactly happens to the brakes?
When the brake pedal is slowly depressed, this pushes the brake pads against the rotors. The vehicle will start to slow down as the energy from the moving vehicle is converted into heat. Generally, this heat dissipates throughout the braking system, keeping everything cool and running smoothly. This process normally creates a high amount of heat, which is why braking components naturally breakdown over time.
When you add in blistering hot weather, this will undoubtedly have an effect. The first thing that may happen is decreased performance.
In the summer, you’ll find that you need to push down harder and longer on the brake pedal. In other words, the stopping distance of your vehicle will be increased. This is commonly referred to as “brake fading” and can be a scary experience, especially when trying to avoid an accident. Brake fading will be enhanced by frequently applying the brakes either in stop and go traffic, or while driving on steep terrain.
As time goes on, hotter weather will also lead to faster disintegration of braking components. High heat will cause materials from the brake pads to glaze the surface of the rotors, which also affects vehicle stopping power. This means higher maintenance costs and eventually, brake failure is possible is no action is taken.
It is key to be vigilant and ensure vehicles are inspected at least twice per year. This includes a visual inspection of the brakes and brake fluids. If regular inspections and maintenance are not completed, this may spell potential disaster.
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