Sunday, June 30, 2013

How to Avoid Cracking Your Car's Rotors

Hat Tip to Jeff B.

Most driving clubs have gotten better about providing advice to students but it still baffles me how many people, especially those new to the sport don't follow basic rules on preserving their brakes. Here are a few rules to live by that will help you reduce the possibility of cracking your car's rotors:
  1. Try to stay off the brakes on the cooldown lap. There may be some turns on the track where you'd still have to tap the brakes to slow down but in general, try to use them sparingly.
  2. The cooldown lap alone is usually not enough, especially if you are a fast driver. Take another 2-3 minites of driving around and staying off the brakes after you get off the track and before you park the car. Find out from your instructor if (s)he has time to go over the session with you and tell them you want to drive around for a bit to throw more air to the brakes or drop them off qiuckly if they have to go and then drive around.
  3. Be very careful with water and avoid puddles at all cost while the brakes are still hot. The sudden difference in temperature will easily weaken the rotors and may warp them or even cause cracks to appear or extend, especially if hairline cracks already exist.
  4. When you park the car at your spot, leave the car in gear and do NOT pull up the e-brake. Even if you cooled down the brakes some, they are still hot and using the e-brake will leave pad marks on the rear rotors.
These basic rules will help you have more fun, save you money, and keep you safe.