Brake fading is an extremely dangerous issue in which your car’s brake pedal seems to be working normally, but your vehicle does not stop when you press on it. Even though the brakes on your car are brand new and the rest of the braking system is in good shape, there is still a possibility that this could occur.
What are the Roots of Brake Fade?
Friction-Based Loss of Adhesion
This is by far the most prevalent and important factor in the development of brake fade. When the driver presses softly on the brakes (just enough to slow the vehicle) before letting go while driving down a very long hill, friction fade typically happens. This is because the brakes have less surface area to grip onto.
But if the driver keeps pressing on the brakes and doesn’t let up, the persistent friction on the brake pads and rotor will build massive amounts of heat. This is because heat normally dissipates just fine when the driver presses on the brakes and then lets up. Because of the accumulation of heat, the friction surfaces of the brake pads and rotor will eventually stop functioning properly.
To avoid your brakes becoming less effective over time, you should apply consistent, firm pressure to the pedal, and then ease off slightly to allow them to cool down. You need to change down into a lower gear so that you can slow your vehicle down even farther. If you are already experiencing friction fade, you need to pull over immediately and let your car sit still for one hour so that the brakes can cool off completely before continuing.
Brake Fluid Fade
The deterioration of the brake fluid is perhaps the second most likely cause. Brake fluid should be changed at regular intervals, as recommended by most vehicle manufacturers. On the other hand, there are owners of motor vehicles who choose to disregard these advice and put off refilling the fluid for years and years (this seems to happen more often for older cars and trucks).
Because of this, the braking fluid will eventually deteriorate and become contaminated with water and other particles. When it gets heated, the water absorption in the brake fluid leads it to start boiling at a significantly lower temperature. In the event that this occurs, steam will build in the braking system, and the steam will become more compressed (brake fluid will not).
When the brake fluid reaches its boiling point, the brakes will lose their firmness and become unable to bring the car to a halt. It’s not hard to fix this problem: It is recommended that you periodically change your brake fluid. When it comes to how often you should change the brake fluid, the guidelines given to you by the manufacturer should be followed. Changing the brake fluid in the majority of cars and trucks should be done approximately every two years.
This is not a particularly prevalent reason for brake fade, but it is something that can occasionally occur.
Sometimes newly manufactured brake pads will have a resin in them, and this resin has the potential to degrade when the pads reach extremely high temperatures.
They will produce gases as they decompose, which will result in a reduction in the amount of friction that exists between the pads and the rotor. This, in turn, results in the inability of the brakes to function.
After installing new brake pads, in order to minimize brake fade, you should avoid driving down steep hills and applying the brakes for extended periods of time for the first week or two. Although only a small percentage of brakes can result in this kind of issue, it is nevertheless important to be aware of it.