What is Brake Fade?

Brake fade is a term that describes the temporary reduction or complete loss of your vehicle's braking power. Brake fade happens when the brake pad and the rotor no longer create enough friction to stop your car; the result being inconsistent or unexpected braking behavior. Of course, this is inconsistent behavior can be very dangerous since it most often results in increased and unusual stopping distances.

Brake pads can be made of different materials as well as have different running temperatures. Brake system manufactures always surface scorch their brake pad linings under a simulated operating pressure. Manufactures also heat the friction materials to a particular temperature, specific to the model of the vehicle.

There are two types of materials used in the manufacture of friction pads. One type is sintered metallics and the other is known as organics. Sintered metallics contain synthetic materials. Organics brake pads contain phenolic resins which help to bind the other compounds in the pad.

1. Early Life Brake Fade or Green Fade (Organics)

This form of brake fade is quite common when new brake pads are fitted. It's simply a process of settling down of the components after installation. For this reason "bedding in" brakes is important right after the installation of new brake pads; the same is true for drum brake and shoe replacements. It is important to transfer some of the friction materials from the pad onto the rotor face. The normal bedding in period requires a drive of about 500 miles in the city.

2. Dynamic Brake Fade (Sintered Metallics)

If you experience dynamic brake fade you have the wrong grade of pad for your vehicle or the brake pad is of low quality. This type of brake fade could also be caused by caliper drag if the caliper has not been properly maintained, which does not allow the caliper to fully release after brake application. Dynamic brake fade is a loss of braking ability during the stop outside the bed-in period; it is dangerous and needs to be remedied.

If you need brake repair, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!