by Pat Goss
Not all cars will stop like this Porsche, but one thing I can guarantee you is that all cars will fail to stop if you don't properly maintain your brakes. Now, you should check the brakes on your car at least every twelve thousand miles, or once a year, or whenever there's a change in the feel of the brakes or the noise that the brakes make. See, if they make noise and that noise goes away, check them. If they don't make noise and all of a sudden they do, check the brakes. One of the most important parts of checking the brakes is to check the brake pads. Friction material on brakes is consumable. It wears away just like the tread on your tires. Now a trick way to do this is to use a tire tread depth gauge. It can be held against the surface of the friction material, the plunger is pushed down against the metal, and you have your reading right there. Now the minimum is two thirty-seconds of an inch, but I prefer never to go beyond three-thirty seconds of an inch. That gives you a little leeway.
The other thing that you have to be aware of is that you're always looking for the thinnest portion on the brake pad not the thickest. The thinnest, folks. Now along with the brake check there's always going to be the check of the hardware. Is the hardware rusty? Are any of the pieces broken or missing, or anything like that? Plus, when the brakes are checked, the brakes should be serviced. And that means that you're going to apply something for silencing on the backs of the brake pads. That may be shims, or it may be a chemical, such as we have here. And you're also going to lubricate the moving parts of the brake system using the proper lubricant. There's some for rubber to metal, there's some for metal to metal, and so on. Make sure the proper material is used.
Now, this business with brake noise; getting rid of it can be a real problem. But here's something that is brand new. This is NU-LOK Piston Cushion. Okay, so what is it? Well, it is this little circular device that fits into the inside of the hollow piston in your calipers. Now, it's coated with a special material that dampens noise, makes the brakes more effective, and actually does a very good job for a very small amount of money. So it's something that you might want to look for if you have noisy brakes.