While you may be used to the cycle of getting your brakes checked, replacing brake pads, and scheduling your car for regular maintenance, have you ever considered that your brake pads can be more than a stock component of your car? Upgrades can make your ride smoother, and that goes double for the braking system that keeps your vehicle safe.
If your vehicle doesn’t have carbon-ceramic brakes, is it worth it to upgrade? The investment can be very attractive for high-performance cars, especially if you’re keen on learning all about your vehicle.
What’s The Deal With Carbon Ceramic Brakes?
Most cars come installed with disc brakes. Disc brakes work more or less the same across the board, with twin pads clamping on a rotor and slowing the car through friction. Carbon-ceramic brakes are made out of material that differs them from traditional brakes.
Brake pads come in three basic types—organic, metallic, ceramic. While organic pads might still contain metal and ceramic, they’re infused with resin, glass, and Kevlar. Metallic or semi-metallic pads are made up of mostly metal.
Carbon-ceramic brakes also called composite brake discs or CC brakes, are the type of disc brake commonly found in high-performance cars like Porsche, Ferrari, or BMW. In disc brakes, the rotor or disc is made from cast iron or steel. Carbon-ceramic brakes have a disc or rotor built from a mixture of carbon and ceramic specially treated for the brake itself, built out of carbon fiber, silicon carbide, and epoxy resin. When these properties are combined with carbon fiber and ceramic material, they produce a high-performance application for your vehicle.
Why Should I Switch To CC Brakes?
You may not know this, but space shuttles are actually made of carbon fiber and a reinforced carbon composite, coated with ceramics like silicon carbide. Reinforced carbon-ceramic allows space shuttles to endure extremely high temperatures as they break through the atmosphere, a process that creates an incredible amount of exterior friction.
When you brake while driving, the conventional metallic system doesn’t dissipate the heat generated by friction. As this heat builds up, the temperature of the steel wears on your entire braking system. Over time, these temperatures will degrade the cast iron and steel within the components of your brakes. Degraded components of course reduce your overall stopping power and can make driving dangerous.
Carbon-ceramic brakes are specially designed to manage and reduce the friction that’s generated within your braking system.
The Benefits Of Carbon Ceramic Brakes
# Resistance to Brake Fade
Carbon-ceramic brakes are not as susceptible to “brake fade” as conventional brakes since they are more resistant to high temperatures. Brake fade is the overall loss of braking power under high temperatures, and this increases over time as conventional brakes degrade. Since CC brakes dissipate the heat from friction, it’s less likely for them ever to reach these temperatures.
# Enhanced Durability
Carbon Ceramic brakes are built tough and are more resistant to wear than traditional braking systems. The average cast-iron disc or rotor system lasts up to 60,000 miles, but CC brakes and rotors can travel without replacement for well over 100,000 miles.
# A Cleaner System
Conventional braking systems undergo substantial wear as you drive. This includes brake dust and other materials that accumulate around the wheel of your vehicle. Carbon-ceramic brakes are resistant to abrasion as well, and the dust generated by CC brakes is much finer than a traditional braking system.
# Reduced Weight
Carbon-ceramic brakes are more lightweight than their conventional counterparts, many times weighing half as much as cast iron or steel rotors. This improves vehicle handling and creates an overall smoother ride. In addition to reduced weight, carbon-ceramic brakes are also quieter and resistant to corrosion.
Are There Downsides To CC Brakes?
As with anything, there are downsides that come with the unconventional option. Carbon-ceramic brakes are more expensive than cast iron or steel brakes, in many cases several times more expensive. They are an investment, which is something anyone with a high-performance car is already used to. If you are looking to upgrade to carbon-ceramic brakes you could be looking at several thousand dollar investments.
In addition to their cost, ceramic brakes feel “spongy” compared to traditional brakes. This feel typically only happens when the vehicle is cold, and once the brakes warm up from use, that feeling should vanish. This sensation is still something to get used to, and needs to be managed.
Are Carbon Ceramic Brakes Right For Me?
There are many reasons to make the switch to CC brakes, but you should know what it is you’re getting into. Carbon-ceramic brakes are for high-performance drivers, vehicles on the track, luxury vehicles, and vehicles where you don’t want to service the brakes or braking system very often.
Carbon-ceramic brakes are quite the upgrade and the difference is substantial. Make sure to get your vehicle inspected by a professional before you make any informed decision.
As with any high-quality vehicle part, PartsAvatar has you covered every day of the year. If you’re curious about the upgrade to carbon-ceramic brakes, give them a look. The extreme durability, efficiency, performance, and resilience of carbon-ceramic brakes are certainly appealing!