Are brake upgrades really necessary for safety?

Brakes are one of the most important features of your car, given that it’s responsible for stopping power when needed. Some car owners still choose to upgrade their brake set, but is it really necessary for safety? 

One can argue that your car’s stock brakes will do good enough for most needs, but like everything, there is room for improvement. Is it worth upgrading your brakes for better performance? Let’s find out. 

Are brake upgrades really necessary for safety?

According to some experts, the logical reasoning as to why some car owners upgrade their brakes is for improved stopping power and enhanced safety. This is all thanks to the higher-quality brake parts that should last longer and decrease your car’s stopping distance. Upgrading your brakes will allow it to perform better under extreme conditions and, as a result, improve your vehicle's safety. So yes, it really is necessary for safety. 

Some, on the other hand, do it for aesthetic purposes. Those who are into aftermarket parts will sometimes purchase a large set of rims and then couple it with big vented rotors for a sportier look.

There are other owners, still, who’ve modified their car to the point that they’ve packed on a few hundred kilograms, as is the case with bulletproof SUVs and Cars. The added weight will hamper a vehicle’s ability to stop efficiently, hence it may be logical to upgrade the brakes. Also, if a driver finds himself loading the car often, the added mass inside the car may cause the brakes to fade prematurely, or cause the car to stop over a longer distance. 

Bigger brakes don’t have better stopping power

Bigger brake kits do not necessarily increase the stopping power or decrease the stopping distance of a vehicle.  Rather, it will only spread out the clamping force of the brake caliper in a larger surface area. Despite that, it still holds some benefits, as having a bigger brake kit shall also help your car decrease the operating temperature of all related braking system components. Your braking system produces heat, but too much of it may wear out or even mitigate your brake’s performance. High-performance brakes put a car to a stop more consistently over many operation cycles compared to a stock set of brakes, unless your braking system is already big out of the factory. 

So should you have your brakes upgraded?

Aside from the improved safety, having an upgraded braking system does have a lot of benefits as mentioned. If you have the budget to do so then go, but from a daily driver standpoint, settling with your OEM brake set should already be fine. However, there are replacement pads available that you can get in an OEM size. Consider getting a new set of more performance-oriented brake pads if you are looking to upgrade once your stock pads run out. 

Perhaps, cars that are meant to be used on the race tracks should better consider this upgrade granted that some stock brake sets are not meant for hardcore racing. As the abuse and heat of brakes in race form are a lot similar to what you will see in towing situations. 

Still, whether you’re an average driver or a man on the track, you should consider this upgrade if you have the budget to do so, as it could improve the overall braking performance of your car depending on your choice of brake kits.

Brake inspection

Whether you upgrade your brake kit or not, having it inspected regularly is very important in order to maintain its pristine condition especially when you take your car out for long drives.  It is advisable that you have your car’s brakes checked at least every 6 months or during its periodic maintenance service (PMS). Make sure to follow this as damaged brakes can cause safety hazards for both you and other drivers on the road. There is a chance that the casa or your trusted shop will replace your brake pads once it wears off, its lifespan would usually depend on your driving style.

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