As we all know, how much importance needs to be given to safety while riding, & brakes are one of the most crucial components of our vehicle and they are the lifesaving equipment for us, may it be on four or two-wheeler. And equally important are their maintenance and regular check-up so that they are in their perfect condition all the time. Moreover, if you are living in India, you already know the roads and how important brakes are!
A very warm welcome to all our readers at MOTORBHAI. Safety has always been the topmost priority for us, and we make sure that all the vehicles we deal in, are checked on the safety front with all the important components being checked. We welcome you in yet another information-filled article, where we would be discussing some crucial tips about how to maintain the disc-brakes of your vehicle and also would be talking about ABS (Anti-lock braking system) and how to maintain it.
So, without further wasting any time, let us get started.
- What exactly are Disc brakes and why are they better than drum brakes.
Disc brakes are used in cars, bikes, trucks, or even buses and they use hydraulic pressure to stop the vehicle. The complete disc brake system consists of a metal disc attached to the wheels, the fluid line from the oil reservoir, and caliper along with the brake pads on both the side. The oil reservoir is connected to the brake fluid. When the brake lever is pulled by the rider, oil is transferred to the calipers and in turn, it applies pressure on the pads, due to which friction is created on the discs to stop the vehicle. The stopping power of the brakes depends on the size of the pads or the area of contact of the pads with the discs. Hence bigger brake pads mean better stopping power as they cover more surface area as compared to smaller discs. And that is why we see bigger brake pads or dual disc brakes setup on higher displacement bikes. We mostly find 240-300mm Disc size on most of the bikes in India.
Some advantages of Disc brakes over Drum brakes
- Better stopping power.
- Better Heat dissipation.
- Affordable spare parts.
- No wheel damage
- Safer and more responsive in panic braking conditions with ABS-equipped.
There are few disadvantages of Disc brakes as well like they are a bit on the higher side when we consider the pricing as compared to the drum brakes and also, they lock up very easily in panic braking conditions resulting in an accident if there is no ABS. Their Brake fluids also need to be checked regularly as when the bike is not in regular use, there are high chances brake fluid may lose its viscosity resulting in poor braking performance.
But we feel these disadvantages are negligible and putting that extra money for disc brakes offer you a safer ride, and they are worth the money. Also, the braking performance on both disc and drum brakes is marginally noticeable. So, we would highly recommend you go with two-wheelers which have Disc brakes.
- Maintenance of Disk brakes.
- Keep checking the Disc of your bike regularly if there is any sort of dirt, mud particles, or contamination of oil on them. You can clean them with a thick cloth and Isopropyl alcohol. One must make sure to be extra careful while using Isopropyl alcohol as it is highly inflammable and dangerous to health.
- Always remember to check your brake fluid level and color of brake fluid at regular service intervals. The fluid level shouldn’t below and the color of the brake fluid must not be dark.
- Always use the right brake fluid for your bike, with the grade which is specified for the bike like, DOT3, DOT4.
- Always make sure to check the brake pad thickness after specific intervals. And change them when they are worn out (less than 1/8 inches). The complete disc brakes component also comes with a brake pad thickness indicator.
- Whenever we replace the brake pads with new ones we must make sure that the inner and outer pads are in their right place. And the brake pads and disc/rotor should also be of the same size if it is a dual-disc setup.
- Make sure all the components of the disc brakes are rust-free and properly oiled. You can get them checked by a professional technician as the mechanism of disc brake setup is quite complex. We recommend you not to open up the disc brake system unless you are very trained, or you do not have any past experience, as it could lead to damage to the parts. Some other components which need to be checked are
- Caliper Piston
- Caliper Piston Rings
- Master cylinder assembly
- Caliper mounter breaking
- Check reservoir tank for any kind of leak.
- You can use insulator shims on the back of brake pads to avoid the brake noise as it provides cushioning to the brake pads hence reducing vibrations. Non-metallic ceramic pads or non-asbestos organic ceramic pads can also be used for the same purpose.
- After installing new brake pads, make sure to check the braking capability at 50-60 Kmph and use them often repetitively for 20-25 times so that they perfectly fit or bedding.
ABS or Anti-lock braking systems’ main purpose is to provide you as much control as possible while you are applying brakes and need to stop quickly or slow down your vehicle. ABS is available on both two and four-wheelers & is very useful while driving on roads with wet conditions, snow, or any other rough conditions. When the driver brakes suddenly, the ABS sensors get activated and they determine at what rate the vehicle is getting de-accelerated. If the sensors detect that the wheels are getting locked, they control the brakes of the vehicle, and apply the brakes in a pulsating way, so that the wheels do not get locked and can be controlled by the driver.
The data received by the sensors is transferred to the ECU which analyzes the data and decides at what rate the speed is getting reduced if the wheels are getting locked among others and it takes the action accordingly.
Maintenance of ABS
- Regular service
Get regular service done so that all the brakes and other fluids are inspected well and let your technician check all your ABS-related components on periodic services. This will also let you know if there are any other problems, which you could not identify while riding.
- Avoid Using ABS whenever possible.
For the longevity of the ABS, try using it as less as possible, which can be practiced by avoiding panic braking, maintaining low speeds wherever possible so that there is less pressure on brakes for stopping, avoiding hazardous weather conditions on road, among others. This will help you in increasing the life of your ABS system as it will then come into use very less.
- Always getting the speed sensors of the ABS calibrated for better working of the ABS.
These sensors are the most crucial components of the ABS, as they detect all the happenings on the wheel like how fast the vehicle is moving, how the brakes are applied among others and act accordingly. Regular service and calibration of them are indeed important for better working of ABS.
- Keep your brakes checked.
As mentioned above in the brakes section, it is very important to keep them in perfect condition and get them, and all their components checked regularly. It is also important to keep the brakes clean so that the brake fluid flows through them easily and this will help the ABS to work in the best way.
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With this, we come to the end of this information-filled article and we hope this has helped you in some way or another. Feel free to share any of your views or suggestions in the comments sections below, as your feedback is important for us. We recommend you to invest in a vehicle which has both disc brakes as well as ABS, as the extra amount which you pay for them is worth it, as at the end of the day, it is for our safety.
We hope to see you soon in yet another information-filled article, till then stay safe, and ride safe!