European Car Brakes
Have you ever noticed a BMW that has a lot of brake dust on the front wheels. That is because they use semi metallic brake pads from the factory. Our Ceramic brake pads are an upgrade from original BMW brake pads. Most European cars have great braking action. They can stop very quickly. One of the ways they achieve this is by using a softer rotor material. As a result the rotors ware down almost as fast as the brake pads and they get glazed very quickly. Most European car tires are hub centric which means the brake rotor and wheel are both centered on the hub by the round center of the hub and not the wheel studs. This makes it even more critical that the rotor is machined on the car and not a bench lathe. We have a state of the art on car lathe to do just this job.
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads are held together by tiny metal fibers. If a pad was pure ceramic it would fall apart. Ceramic brakes also emit less black brake dust. They actually grip less than semi metallic pads. That is one of the reasons many European cars use them stock from the dealer. I often have people say to me do you use dealer brake pads? My answer is no since the dealer brake pads on European cars like BMW are often semi metallic ours are an upgrade. Most people would rather have less dust and a barely noticeably longer stopping distance. Don’t get me wrong. If your intention is to go to the race track you may want the extra grip of semi metallic pads.
Car brake pads touch the rotors causing friction and heat. This heat causes the brake pad to release vapors. If you have ever seen a good quality brake pad you may have noticed a slot down the middle. That is to help release the vapors that the pad emits. With enough heat the vapors can build up between the pad and rotor and cause brake fade which is when you press on the pedal but the pad is actually floating on the rotor not allowing the friction needed for stopping the car.
There are many factors in brake squeal. Usually there is a pattern on the rotor surface and the brake pad rubs on it making a harmonic squealing sound. It can also be caused by the back side of the pad rubbing on the brake caliper piston. This can be cured by installing a good quality brake pad with a backing plate or a coated surface on it. One of the cures is also to use a special brake pad glue to secure the pad to the caliper. There are also treatments for the surface of the brake pad where you heat the surface of the pad to open the pores and then apply the anti squeal which soaks into the pad material.
All brake rotors are not created equal. They can be heavier or light duty. Generally a brake rotor with more mass will last longer and can be turned on a lathe more times to renew the braking surface that the brake pads touch. It may cost a few more dollars to replace your rotor with a good quality one but in the long run it is worth it since we can resurface your rotors for much less than a rotor replacement. Rotors also need a non directional patter cut into them to help eliminate brake squeal. We also use a high quality brake lathe to achieve a non directional pattern in the rotor eliminating brake squeal.