High Performance Brakes: Pros & Cons

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High performance cars require high performance parts. We had the above Mercedes-AMG come into our shop to replace the factory brakes with high-performance brakes (and rotors). These brakes certainly make a high-performance vehicle look high-performance-y, but is there an advantage to having them?

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Does it make sense for all owners of high-performance vehicles to use high-performance brakes? Let’s take a look at a few pros and cons so that you can decide whether or not you should make the switch.

Pros

  • Water

    When a rotor and brake pads get wet, it can make the metal slippery which is harder for the brakes to stop the car. This can cause an issue if you need to stop quickly to avoid an accident. Rotors that have holes drilled in them or slots help dry your brakes faster to eliminate any slipping.

  • Heat

    Rotors with holes or slots help keep the brakes from getting too hot. It allows cold air to be trapped in the drilled areas and allows for more areas to dispense heat. Heat can cause your brakes to warp and crack. If you do a lot of city driving rather than expressway, this may be something to consider with all the stop lights and traffic that occurs in Chicago.

  • Friction

    You may think that less surface area means less friction for stopping. However, high-performance rotors are designed to keep things off that may keep you from stopping faster like, water, dirt, and brake dust. With less debris on the brakes and rotors, the easier it is for your brakes to gain traction.

Cons

  • Cost

    This is a common complaint we hear among drivers with high-performance brakes. Depending on the type of car, it can sometimes cost more than $3,000 to replace the brakes. The reason for higher prices is due to higher quality materials used in high-performance brakes. We recommend reducing the cost by going to a trusted independent mechanic shop rather than the dealer ;). This will help reduce the cost in labor and less upselling.

  • Longevity

    Things don’t stay perfect forever, unless you’re George Clooney. Over time rotors or pads can warp or develop uneven surfaces. Having an uneven surface on your rotors can make the holes or slots act as a cheese grater. This can create more friction on your brakes and wear them out faster than usual. If you have the money you can purchase ceramic brakes to try and combat this issue. Ceramic brakes tend to have a longer life expectancy by causing less brake dust to rub off the pads.

  • Cracking

    More holes in the rotors means less strength. High-performance brakes have been known to crack or break more often than factory rotors. Indy cars and stock cars will often use slotted rotors since they don’t drill all the way through the rotor, keeping it’s strength. There are also rotors that have divots rather than holes that don’t go all the way through the rotor (see picture above). If you tend to use the brakes more than the average person, you may not want rotors that can support high tension. Especially, if you do any high-performance driving.

#brakes #highperformancebrakes #amg


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Spotlightautoservice.com specializes in European auto repairs and maintenance. We strive to keep our service cost 40% less than dealerships. Schedule an appointment for Audi, BMW, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini Cooper, or Volkswagen with us.

Written by Spotlight Automotive