The following article explains what to consider in a workshop situation when engaging with a customer about the range of braking options available.
Which brakes are best for your customer?
Using their cars these days people are surrounded by ‘systems’. The visible ones such as electronics and IoT have become common place. However, rarely do people consider the hidden systems. One key system are the brakes. They’re often being taken for granted, and few people actually consider how they work and how they safely bring the vehicle to a critical stop when needed. Let alone ask themselves, is there any way I can improve my brakes and create a safer environment for myself and passengers?
To assist with recommending the ‘right’ brake for your customer, let’s first take a closer look at what they may have as “standard” brakes and their performance aspects. Most vehicles from the factory are fitted with “smooth” brake rotors. There are some niche vehicles with alternatives, but we will get to those further on. The standard smooth face rotor works by creating friction between the rotor and the brake pad face, this in turn creates heat. Depending on the driving type and what extra activities are undertaken, these rotors can, if abused, warp or be damaged prematurely limiting life. That said, under normal general driving conditions a “smooth” rotor is more than sufficient for daily use and will provide for thousands of kilometres of driving. Hence why these are the application of choice as standard rotors in most OE vehicles.
What are the options?
If your customer is looking to not only improve the braking performance but enhance the look of their vehicle, a good place to start is the DBA “slotted” rotor. These rotors can be added without changing any pad profile or updates again unless you wish to. The benefits of the “slotted” rotor are quite specific. The base rotor is essentially the same – unless they opt for a slotted, high-performance rotor such as the DBA ‘5000 SERIES’ and the materials and the way they are manufactured is consistent with any OE supplied rotor. So what benefits do I get? The slots provide for some unique performance updates.
The slots on rotors come in a variety of styles and profiles but essentially do the same function. Slots are designed to allow gases and brake dust to escape from the system. The benefit of this is that it creates better contact between the rotor and the pad. How? The microscopic particles of worn rotor and pad as braking occurs are expelled along the slot paths resulting in reducing heat and enhancing life of the brake system. This may also minimize warping under extreme conditions depending on your driving habits. The other positive improvement is that the slots aid in “cleaning” the pads as they pass over the slot edges aiding in minimizing pad build up and inhibiting brake shudder. For most vehicles DBA provides a variety of slot patterns across its three tiers of disc rotors (STREET SERIES, 4000 SERIES, and 5000 SERIES) that can be coupled with differing style of brake pad composites to further enhance dust keep you and your passengers safe.
For those seeking a further visual differentiator and as replacement for some European marks, DBA supply either drilled only or drilled and slotted variants. These designs allow gas/particle “venting” as per slotted only versions but the cross drilled holes also participate in the outgassing. The cross drilling may also “clear” water in wet conditions allowing for earlier dry braking. The cross drilling in parked position provides a great aesthetic for your vehicle. All the DBA range as outlined are designed for applications from daily driving (STREET SERIES) to performance enhancement (4000 SERIES, 5000 SERIES). If you are considering “track” or “race” applications, specific designs beyond the aforementioned is recommended.
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