Cost v quality and safety – part 1  

WE are going to give you a review, regarding the supply and fitting of cheap car components, most notably brake pads, oil and tyres, against a more expensive type.

This will enable you to make informed decisions, guided by your garage or mechanic, to fit the best for your car, type of driving and vehicle. This issue will focus on brakes.

Let’s look at, probably, the most important component on your car … the brake pads. There are on the market, in general, three types of pads. The type that you have fitted will depend on a lot of different factors.

Organic car brake pads are generally the cheapest. They won’t last very long, and will require replacing more frequently, meaning that, in reality, they are not “cheap”.

Low metallic brake pads can be noisy, but have a slightly longer life expectancy than organic. Again, this cheaper option is price versus quality and life expectancy.

Semi-metallic brake pads are, generally, middle-of-the-road, and have a reasononable life expectancy.

Ceramic brake pads last longer than other materials, and are more resistant to wear. They are the most expensive, but you will get more kilometres from these, and have better braking. In the long run, they work out cheaper. They are also a safer option, with regard to hard braking in an emergency.

Usually, front brake pads will wear out faster than those at the rear, because the front handles more of the braking load. The type of brake pad that should be fitted can also depend on your vehicle, its normal load and your type of driving, i.e. around town, long distance etc., and all these things should be factored into your decision.

In hot climates, the car runs hotter, as do the brakes, so a good braking system is essential for the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users. If your car is not fitted with a sensor which alerts you that the pads need replacing, you need to be aware that the following things can be symptoms or signs that they need replacing.

If you can hear a loud screeching sound when braking, it’s a real warning sign that new brake pads are needed.

If you hear a grinding noise, it’s likely that the brake pads have been worn down completely. By visually checking your car, it is possible to look at brake pads, and identify wear and tear.

Pads should be visible by looking through the spokes of the car’s wheel; the outside pad is pressed against a metal rotor. There should be at least three millimetres of the pad visible. If you see anything less, get the brake pads inspected.

If the car is pulling to one side while you are driving, it’s also likely that the brake pads need to be changed. Another sign is if there are bad vibrations through the brake pedal, when you put your foot down on it. This could mean the pads have warped due to heat, which is quite a common problem here in Tenerife.

If you have any concerns regarding your brakes, visit a garage, making sure that it’s legally registered with Industria, to ensure you are safeguarded.


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Posted by on Feb 9 2018. Filed under Motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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