Brakes are among the most important safety tools for any vehicle. Most people only look into how fast a vehicle can go, but it is equally important to consider how quickly and effectively a vehicle can be brought to a complete stop. A good set of brakes on a vehicle can draw a line between life and death in dire cases. This is why it is important to keep a look out for the wearing of your brakes and invest in good spares when opting for a brake shoes replacement at timely intervals.
Drum vs. Disc
Disc brakes and drum brakes are the two most commonly used braking systems in modern vehicles. A disc brake has two disc pads on either sides of a brake rotor. When the brakes are applied, a caliper action forces these discs to squeeze against the rotor, which in turn slows down the wheel, eventually stopping it. These are usually found in the front wheels of modern vehicles.
The drum brakes, however, have a set of brake shoes that are set up on the inside of a brake rotor. When brakes are applied, these brake shoes expand and push against the wall of the rotor in order to bring the vehicle to a complete halt. Drums are part of an older technology and are traditionally used in the rear wheels vehicles. In both cases, the braking mechanisms use friction to stop the vehicle. Thus, brake shoes replacement should be done on a regular basis as the brake shoes wear down, or at regular intervals as recommended by the manufacturer. This is in order to ensure that your vehicle has optimal braking power at all times.
Types of brake shoes
Car brake shoes are of four types, and the classification is based purely on their compositional materials. They are-
- Semi Metallic Brake shoes: Like the name suggests, these types of brake shoes are made of a combination of metallic and organic materials in the ratio of 30:70. These are highly durable, and are among the most commonly used brake shoes. However, they do wear out the rotors faster than their counterparts under extreme braking conditions since the material does not dissipate heat efficiently.
- Non Asbestos Organic brake pads: Commonly known as NAO, these brake shoes are made of organic materials like glass, rubber, fiber or even Kevlar. They are quite soft and do not make as much noise as the metallic brake shoes. However, they do wear out quickly even under nominal conditions and tend to create a lot of brake dust.
- Low Metallic NAO: These are Organic brake shoes that are infused with trace amounts of metal such as copper or steel in order to improve braking efficiency and heat dissipation. However, the addition of metal also increases the generation of brake dust and noise when braking.
- Ceramic Brake shoes: Ceramic brake shoes are high end products that are made of ceramic fibers infused in filler materials. These are extremely quiet and produce virtually no dust when compared to the metallic and NAO type brake shoes.
How to choose the right brake shoes
One of the first things to consider when choosing brake shoes is your driving requirements and the type of vehicle you drive.
Next, you will have to think about the type of brake shoes you will buy. For regular city traffic a semi metallic brake shoes should do just fine. However, if you find the need for better/ stronger braking capabilities you will have to invest in ceramic type brake shoes. If you are unsure of the kind of brake shoes your vehicle needs, you can look into the manufacturer’s specification to find an appropriate set of brake shoes.
Once you have decided on the type of brake shoes replacement you need. You will then have to choose from the numerous brands that are available in the markets. This can be a harrowing process, considering the number of options you have at your disposal. This is why it is necessary to do optimal research before buying brake shoes.