Give me a brake ....

Monday, August 10, 2009 by Luke Pavlick
Yes, I meant  to spell it that way because, today I am blogging about brakes.

Everyday I get to field questions from people about all types of performance and aesthetic upgrades but, many times the unintended consequences are not even seen.

Brakes are often over looked when upgrading wheels and tires and it's easy to understand why. A wheel and tire package can dramatically improve the appearance of any car or truck. Brakes, on the other hand, do not have nearly as much visual impact so, they aren't considered as important from a "looks" perspective.

Yeah, you can paint the calipers and add some drilled or slotted rotors but, that just isn't as sexy as those large diameter wheels and cool looking tires.



But, there's more than "it looks cool" when it comes to modifying a vehicle.

In addition to what we have learned in our own testing program, one of the magazines The Tire Rack advertises in recently published an article that stated "People who install a basic 20-inch wheel and tire package onto their truck may notice diminished braking performance. A typical truck may require 50-percent additional braking distance or more. So, if your 60-to-0-mph braking distance is 100 feet with stock tires and wheels, you may need upward of 150 feet to stop with heavier 20-inch wheels."

I am not saying don't upgrade your wheels. I am also not saying that in order to improve braking you need some $5,000.00 big brake kit. Many gains in braking effectiveness can be achieved with a simple brake pad change. Better brake pads with a higher friction coefficient can make a world of difference in your stopping distances.

I run Hawk Performance brake pads in most of the vehicles at our house. Hawk offers a wide range of friction materials designed to meet just about any requirement from full on racing to spirited street driving to your daily commute. Personally, I want stand it on it's nose grip and initial bite when I am at a track day or an AutoX. The HP Plus brake pads offer enough stopping power to put your nose into the windshield and I can still  drive home without changing the brake pads. My daily driver sports the HPS Street brake pads which are a fantastic all-around pad with more initial bite than the OE pads. Hawk also offers the Performance Ceramic brake pads which are a low dust, super quiet brake pad which are perfect for my wife's Odyssey. You name a need and odds are Hawk has a brake pad that can meet it.


My name is Luke Pavlick and I am a Car Guy


 



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