Cost v Quality and Safety
We are going to give you a review regarding the supply and fitting of cheap car components most notably brake pads, oil and tyres against a more expensive type and this will enable you to make informed decisions, guided by your garage or mechanic to fit the best for your car, type of driving and of course type of vehicle. This issue will focus on brakes.
Let’s first look at probably the most important component on your car … the brake pads.
There are on the market, in general three types of brake pads available. The type that you have fitted will depend on a lot of different factors.
• Organic car brake pads are generally the cheapest, and in general they will not last very long and will require replacing more frequently meaning that in reality they are not “cheap”.
• Low metallic brake pads can be noisy but have a slightly longer life expectancy than organic. Again, this cheaper option is price versa quality and life expectancy.
• Semi-metallic brake pads are generally a middle of the road brake pad and have a reason life expectancy.
• Ceramic brake pads last longer than other materials and are more resistant to wear. They are of course the most expensive but you will get more kilometres from these, have better braking and therefore in the long run they work out cheaper. They are also a safer option with regard to hard braking in an emergency.
Usually, front brake pads will wear out faster than those at the rear because the front handles more of the braking load. The type of brake pad that should be fitted can also depend on your vehicle, its normal load, your type of driving, i.e. around town, long distance etc., all these things should be factored into your decision.
In hot climates, naturally, the car runs hotter so do the brakes so a good braking system is essential for the safety of the driver and its passengers and other road users. If your car is not fitted with a sensor which alerts you that the pads need replacing you need to be aware that the following things can be symptoms or signs that they need replacement:
A loud screeching- If you can hear a loud screeching sound when braking it’s a real warning sign that new brake pads are needed.
If hear a grinding noise, it’s likely the brake pads have been worn down completely. By visually checking your car it is possible to look at brake pads too and identify wear and tear. Pads should be visible by looking through the spokes of the car’s wheel – the outside pad is pressed against a metal rotor. There should be at least three millimetres of the pad visible. If you see anything less, get the brake pads inspected.
If the car is pulling to one side whilst you are driving, then it’s also likely that the brake pads need to be changed. Another sign is if there are bad vibrations through the brake pedal when you put your foot down on it, that could mean the pads have warped due to heat, quite a common problem here in Tenerife.
If you have any concerns regarding your brakes then visit a garage, but making sure that the garage is a legally registered with Industria to ensure you are safeguarded.