“From a physics standpoint, the brakes on your car are designed to convert the kinetic energy of your moving vehicle into heat energy, via friction. The result of that energy conversion is what brings your car to a stop. Then, vehicle design, including that of the brakes themselves, helps to dissipate that heat to the air.
Now, here’s where the major difference arrives: the amount of heat generated. Taking a look at the front brakes and rear brakes, especially the size and weight of the brake rotors, brake callipers and surface area of the brake pads, it’s obvious that the front brakes are a lot heavier than the rear brakes, enabling them to take the heat.”
“Back to physics for a moment, to further understand why the front brakes need to handle so much more heat. When you’re moving forward and you hit the brakes, the centre of gravity of the vehicle effectively shifts forward, putting more weight and more momentum on the front tires. The front tires therefore gain more traction, and they can take more braking force to stop the car. Because the front brakes generate up to 75 percent of the vehicle’s stopping force, they generate much more heat, over 250 C in heavy braking.
This has necessitated the development of a few common design features:
“Overall vehicle design determines front brakes vs rear brakes bias, but most rear brakes should never provide more than 40 percent of the stopping power at any given time. As such, they don’t develop nearly as much heat as the front brakes. If they weren’t designed for this lesser load, the rear brakes would lock up every time you stepped on the brake pedal, or at least the anti-lock braking system (ABS) would be activating all the time.
Providing just the right amount of braking power and vehicle stability requires the following:
So as we can see, front brakes and rear brakes serve a very similar – yet entirely different purpose. So the next time someone tells you “as long as your front brakes are working, you’re fine” – please don’t listen to them!
Make sure you get your front and rear brakes checked today – click here to get in touch with us at Astro brake now!
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