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What is a Brake Fade?

You're driving along and step on the brakes to slow down - you notice that it takes you significantly longer to brake, almost like your brakes are failing. This can be extremely scary, and is definitely a situation you want to avoid. So what happened? Did your brakes fail? This is what is called a brake fade. A brake fade is defined as the temporary loss or reduction of full brake power. 

When you step on your vehicle's brakes, multiple different components work together to slow down to stop your vehicle. Brake fade is a situation in which no driver wants to find themselves in, especially when your brakes fail completely. Although it typically only lasts for a few seconds, those few seconds are enough to find yourself in an accident. Let's take a look at what exactly a brake fade is and how it can be avoided. 

As you press down on the brake pedal, the brake pad and rotor create friction in order to slow down the wheels. When this doesn't happen, this is referred to as brake fade. Brake fade is typically caused by an overheating brake pad, which prevents it from creating the proper friction. Since the overheating is temporary, brakes will return back to normal once they are cooled down. 

There are a few different types of brake fade that can occur. Early-life brake fade is seen with brand new brake pads or rotors, because the components aren't quite broken in and aligned together which can cause a temporary issue with creating friction. Stop brake fade is when there is an issue with a brake component, such as faulty installation. A brake fluid fade is caused by brake fluid that isn't creating enough hydraulic power to initiate the brakes. This can be avoided by having a brake fluid flush performed as recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer. 

So now you're wondering, how can I prevent this from happening? There are a few ways in which you can protect yourself on the road and prevent brake issues from occurring: 

  • Use only OEM or better parts when replacing brake components
  • Ensure that ASE certified professionals are performing your brake replacements and services, like the ones here at A-1 Auto Repair
  • Avoid slamming on your brakes; drive carefully
  • Have your vehicle inspected at the first sign of a brake issue
  • Ensure that you are having your brake services and fluid flushes performed as recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer

If you do suspect that you are due for a brake repair or you would like a brake service performed, don't hesitate to bring your vehicle into the experts here at A-1 Auto Repair today! 

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