Brake System FAQ
Updated: May 2
How do brakes work?
Brakes work by converting kinetic energy (such as the movement of your vehicle) into heat energy, through friction. As heat is generated through friction, kinetic energy is reduced, and your vehicle slows down. The brake disc is the part of the system that spins with the wheels. While you are driving, the wheels and tires turn, and so do the brake discs. When you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid is pushed through the system, and pushes the brake pads onto the brake discs. The brake pads have a fixed position relative to the rotation of the brake disc, and when they are pushed together, they generate heat, through friction, which slows the car down.
Are all brake pads the same?
In a word, no. There are different kinds of brake pad compounds, from organic, to metallic, to ceramic. Each one will give you different braking characteristics, such as performance, comfort, and durability - not just of the brake pad itself, but also the brake disc. Even between different brands of the same kind of compound, there will be differences. For example, two brands of ceramic brake pads will have differences in the materials used, the quality of the materials, and the process used to make the product. An easy analogy is making fried chicken. Even if two restaurants serve fried chicken, the quality of the chicken, the ingredients they use, and way the cook the chicken will be different. So even though both restaurants serve fried chicken, they will not taste the same. The same is true for brake pads.
Are all brake discs the same?
Just like with brake pads, the answer is no. Even though brake discs are not categorized by compound, the materials used, the quality of the materials, and the process used still differ between products made by different manufacturers. For brake discs, this can result in differences in performance, especially in preventing brake fade (loss of braking power) and in durability, in the form of warping or cracking. Brembo Aftermarket replacement brake discs have a combination of unique features How long should brake discs and brake pads last?
There is no fixed lifespan for brake components. Brake discs can last between 50,000km to 100,000km and brake pads should last between 25,000 to 55,000km. However, this depends heavily on many factors, such as the kind of vehicle you drive, the road conditions you drive in, and your driving habits. There are actually many more variables, so even comparing usage data from the same car can give very different results because of all these factors. How do I know when to replace my brake pads?
Most brake pads come with an audible wear indicator. This is a small metal attachment that will make contact with the brake disc when the pads are worn out. When the pads are worn, it will make a very loud, high-pitched noise, signaling that it's time to replace your brake pads. For modern high-end vehicles, there is a brake pad wear sensor attached to the brake pad, which sends a signal to the car's ECU to display a warning light on the dashboard. The symbol for a brake pad change is a red or orange circle with six short lines around it - three on each side. This may or may not have an exclamation point in the middle of the circle. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to ask your mechanic to inspect your brake discs, brake pads, and brake fluid on your car whenever you do an oil change. How do I know when to replace my brake discs?
Brake discs must be replaced when the disc thickness is below the minimum thickness as specified by the car's manufacturer. This measurement can be found usually on the edge of the brake disc itself or in the car's owner's manual. In the event you can't find the minimum thickness, you can also go to Brembo Parts Website, where minimum thickness levels are listed for nearly all vehicles. It is also recommended to replace your discs when it shows signs of cracks, warping, on uneven wear. As a rule of thumb, it is always good to ask your mechanic to inspect your brake discs, brake pads, and brake fluid on your car whenever you do an oil change.
Is it okay to replace my brake pads without replacing my brake discs?
Yes it is okay, but it is recommended to have the brake disc resurfaced or refaced when replacing the brake pad. Of course, it is always best to replace the brake discs and brake pads together. This helps extend the life of your brake components, and helps prevent noise or vibration.
Is it okay to replace my brake discs without replacing my brake pads?
No. You must always replace brake pads when replacing brake discs. Your old brake pads will naturally have uneven surfaces or debris, which can score and damage your new brake discs. Also, the uneven pad surface will not allow you to break-in your new brake discs properly.
Is it okay to resurface or reface my brake discs?
As a general rule, most car manufacturers recommend replacing your brake discs instead of resurfacing or refacing them. This is because modern cars use thinner brake rotors than older models, to save weight and increase fuel economy. If you decide to resurface, make sure that the disc does not reach or exceed its minimum thickness after resurfacing is done. When a disc becomes too worn, it loses its ability to effectively cool itself, which leads to premature brake fade. A worn disc also loses its durability, and becomes more prone to warping or cracks.
Do you have to break-in (or bed-in) new brakes?
Yes. For everyday use cars, it is always best to observe a break-in or running-in period. Brembo recommends at least 300km, where you avoid hard braking and apply gentle, steady pressure when depressing the brake pedal. This allows the new brake pad to "mate" itself evenly to the brake disc surface, leaving a thin layer of friction material on the disc. This increases performance of your brake system, and prevents uneven friction material buildup that can cause judder or vibration when using the brakes..
In the event of an emergency, however, ignore the break-in period and do an emergency stop!
Read more about bedding in brakes here.
Do you have to do maintenance work on the brake calipers?
Yes, absolutely. A vehicle's brakes are constantly attacked by water, dirt, and other contaminants that are harmful to the brake system, so regular maintenance is very important. The components in the brake caliper need to be able to move freely. If not, it can cause noise and vibration, loss of braking performance, or even damage the brake system. The brake system should be cleaned periodically, and then lubricated with proper brake grease, like Brembo B-Quiet Brake Grease. This will help ensure the proper operation of the brake caliper and extend its useable life. It is also important to inspect and replace damaged parts, like seals and springs, to ensure the safe operation of the brakes.
What makes Brembo different from other brake products?
We can give you three good reasons why Brembo your best choice: 1. Brembo is world's leading brake manufacturer, supplying both road car and race car brake systems for the biggest brands - Ferrari, Porsche, BMW, Toyota Gazoo Racing and more. And now Brembo's legendary quality, safety and performance is available for almost all cars on the road. 2. Affordable Quality Near You. Getting the best performing products for your car doesn't have to break the bank. Brembo Aftermarket brake pads start at just P2,000. You don't have to search too far to get them, either. With over 100 Brembo Official Dealers nationwide, it's easy to get Brembo for your car. Most of our dealers can install your brakes for you, too. Contact Us to find a Brembo Official Dealer near you. Do you prefer to DIY, or have a private mechanic? Maybe we don't have a dealer in your area just yet? You can order Brembo products from the Brembo Flagship Store in Lazada, operated by AutoPerformance Ph, for a hassle free purchase. 3. These are the most proven brake components in the Philippines. Brembo Premium Ceramic brake pads are outfitted to every car of the Toyota Vios Cup. These are not special track or race pads, but the same product used for everyday road cars. It's not just in the Vios Cup - champions in the FlatOut Race Series, Philippine Autocross Championship Series, Race Motorsports Club Slalom Series and Philippine Rallycross Series have used Brembo brake pads installed in their race cars. No other brake pad can claim to be successful in the Philippines in as many different racing disciplines as Brembo!
Important: Brembo Premium Ceramic brake pads are NOT designed for racing, and AutoPerformance Ph does not recommend them for track days or racing, Contact Us if you need racing-specific brake products. Why should I choose Brembo even if I don't use my car for performance driving?
You don't need to be a racing enthusiast or car modifier to benefit from using Brembo Aftermarket brake discs and brake pads. Even if you are an everyday motorist, Brembo's line of OE-spec brake parts are designed specifically for road safety, comfort, and extend overall brake system life. Brembo's expertise as a original equipment supplier to the world's top automotive manufacturers, as well as its experience and success in professional motorsport allow it to formulate the best brake products in the market. Are Brembo brakes available for my car?
Brembo Premium Ceramic brake pads are available for 90% of all vehicles on the road in the Philippines. Whether it is a Japanese, European, American, or Korean vehicle, from hatchbacks, to sedans, to pickups and SUVs, chances are Brembo has top quality brake pads for you. You can also search for Brembo parts for your car in the Brembo Parts online parts catalog. For high performance applications, however, not all vehicles have a Brembo component that is applicable. Contact Us for what high performance options we may have for your vehicle. How much are Brembo brakes?
The pricing depends on the vehicle fitment, as well as the kind of Brembo product you need. Brembo Premium Ceramic brake pads start at P2,000 and up, while Brembo aftermarket replacement brake discs start at P4,000 and up. Brembo Xtra and Brembo Sport brake pads start at P5,000, while Brembo Max, Xtra, and Sport rotors start at P8,000 and up. Brembo Gran Turismo (GT) big brake kit prices vary depending on the application. For 2 to 4 piston caliper kits with one-piece discs, prices range from P120,000 to P140,000. For 4 piston caliper kits with two-piece floating discs, prices range from P190,000 to P250,000. For 6 piston caliper kits with two-piece floating discs, prices range from P250,000 to P320,000. Please note that the prices for Brembo GT big brake kits are per axle (front or rear) and are subject to change without prior notice. To get a quote for your car, contact a Brembo Official Dealer near you. If we do not have a dealer near you yet, Contact Us. If you prefer to shop online, visit the Brembo Flagship Store in Lazada. What Brembo product is best for me?
It depends on what you use your vehicle for. Brembo Aftermarket brake products are perfect for your daily driver. Brembo's Premium Ceramic brake pads offer a combination of performance, comfort and reliability in all conditions, and they are affordable. These work best with Brembo aftermarket replacement brake discs. Brembo also has a range of street-and-track performance products, for cars that have been modified for more power, or see occasional racetrack use. Brembo's X-Range of brake discs and brake pads, or Brembo Sport brake discs or brake pads are for you. They provide even more stopping power, are usable in all road conditions, and use your original brake calipers. For heavily tuned cars and for most local race applications, the Brembo Gran Turismo (GT) big brake kit is the best choice. Each kit is engineered specifically for your specific car, and there are several disc and pad options available to suit your needs - from road and occasional track use up to full racing applications. For any questions about special requirements, such as specific race applications, off-roading or armored vehicles, Contact Us.
What brake fluid is best for me?
The three most used grades of brake fluid are DOT 3, DOT 4, and DOT 5.1. The difference between these grades is their wet and dry boiling points, with DOT 3 having the lowest boiling point, and DOT 5.1 the highest. Having a higher boiling point means a greater resistance to heat and vapor lock, which is when the brake fluid boils. When vapor lock occurs, the brake pedal becomes less responsive or spongey, and you lose maximum braking force. For our weather conditions, we recommend DOT 4 brake fluid for all vehicles. DOT 4 absorbs less moisture than DOT 3, and has a much higher boiling point. The Philippines has a hot and humid climate, which means higher normal operating temperatures and greater ambient moisture that brake fluid can absorb. This is especially true for cars that frequently travel along hilly or mountainous roads, are often fully loaded with people or cargo, or see some race track use. DOT 5.1 is a better option for more track-focused cars and race cars, or heavy trucks and SUVs like off-roaders or armored vehicles where very high operating temperatures can boil even DOT 4 brake fluid. Brembo Premium Brake Fluid meets or exceeds all DOT requirements for DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 fluid. For higher levels of racing, Brembo also has Brembo Racing Brake Fluid which is specifically made for motorsport, and not recommended for road use.
How do I know when to replace my brake fluid?
It is always best to refer to your car's owner's manual, but it is usually recommended that you replace your brake fluid every 2-3 years.
It is also recommended to replace your brake fluid if the color has turned brown, or if you feel a spongey pedal and lack of responsiveness when applying the brakes.
As a rule of thumb, it is always good to ask your mechanic to inspect your brake discs, brake pads, and brake fluid on your car whenever you do an oil change.
Is topping up brake fluid the same as replacing brake fluid?
No. Topping up your brake fluid level does not address the problems associated with old brake fluid. The old fluid that is still in the system may already have absorbed moisture, which greatly reduces the effectiveness of your brakes.
Can I mix different kinds of brake fluid?
Only glycol-based brake fluids may be mixed, such as DOT 3, DOT 4 and DOT 5.1 fluids. However the mixture will most likely have the characteristics of the lowest rated fluid.
You must neve mix DOT 5 brake fluid with other kinds, because DOT 5 is silicon based, and is not compatible with glycol-based fluids.
Where can I buy Brembo products?
We have over 100 Brembo Official Dealers nationwide - from North Luzon to Mindanao. Contact Us to find a Brembo Official Dealer near you and get genuine Brembo parts. Most of our dealers can install your brakes for you, too. Do you prefer to DIY, or have a private mechanic? Maybe we don't have a dealer in your area just yet? You can order Brembo products from the Brembo Flagship Store in Lazada, operated by AutoPerformance Ph, for a hassle free purchase. Have special requests, or need Brembo for motorsport? Contact Us and let us know what you need, so we can come up with a braking solution specific to your needs. How can I make sure that I am buying genuine Brembo products?
Make sure you are buying from a Brembo Official Dealer. If you are not sure if the shop you are dealing with is a Brembo Official Dealer, Contact Us and we can verify if you are dealing with a Brembo Official Dealer, or to help you find a dealer near you.
Sadly, there are countless sellers offering counterfeit Brembo brakes. Some of these fakes look just like the real thing, though they will not have the same safety, durability, or performance as the real thing. For more information on how to protect yourself from counterfeit products, read our Simple Guide to Genuine Brembo Big Brake Kits article. You can also buy genuine Brembo Aftermarket brake parts from the Brembo Flagship Store in Lazada. Why are my brakes noisy?
There are many, many possible reasons your brakes are noisy. The most common noise is a high pitched squeal or squeak. These are a few possible causes: 1. Your brake pads are worn. Most cars have audible wear indicators fitted to the brake pads. These are designed to emit a loud, high-pitched noise to inform the driver that the brake pads need replacing. Replacing your brake pads will make this noise go away. 2. The brake disc has uneven wear or grooves. These sharp and uneven surfaces cause vibration when they come into contact with the brake pad, which creates a high pitched noise. These grooves can be caused by brake pads that are "hard" and score the disc surface. This can be fixed by replacing the brake disc, or resurfacing it if still safe to do so. It is important to note that you need to replace your brake pads whenever you replace your brake discs. 3. Tapered wear or damage on the brake pads. Tapered wear can be seen when one side of the brake pad friction material is more worn out than the other, and looks like a slope. This is usually caused by a misalignment in the brake components. The sharp end of the brake pad causes vibration when in contact with the brake disc. This can also cause grooves in the disc, which make the noise worse. Aside from replacing the brake pads, it is important to have the brake calipers inspected and aligned to prevent this from happening again. 4. New brake discs and/or brake pads need bedding in. A newly installed brake disc and brake pad need to be bed in, also known as a running-in period or break-in period. This is done so that a thin layer of brake pad friction material is applied to the brake disc. Proper bedding in allows the surfaces of the brake pads in contact with the brake discs to align correctly, which leads to better performance and minimized noise such as squealing. There are a few methods to do this, but the generally recommended bed-in procedure involves the driver using the brakes gently and gradually while the brakes are new. Brembo recommends a period of 200km to 300 km, though other manufacturers can recommend up to 500km or more. 5. Glazed brake pads. Glazing happens when a brake pad becomes overheated, and the friction material of the brake pad hardens because of the heat and pressure, usually due to being subjected to conditions that the pad is not designed for, such as repeated sudden braking. There are many more causes for brake noise, but a loss in overall stopping power. Glazed pads must be replaced immediately. 6. Your brake system needs inspecting and maintenance. Brake systems, such as the brake calipers, also need periodic general maintenance, especially for older, higher mileage, or extreme use vehicles. Maintenance could mean something as simple as proper cleaning and lubricating parts with brake grease, to a complete system overhaul for older cars. This ensure that nothing is sticking, and all components operate smoothly. There are many more possible causes of brake noise. Certain brake compounds, such metallic compounds, also are more naturally prone to noise. Fortunately, Brembo has Brembo B-Quiet Brake Grease that helps keep your calipers in great condition, and lubricate brake parts to help reduce noise. But whatever the cause, it is always best to call your trusted workshop to determine the cause of the noise.
Why am I experiencing vibration when stepping on the brake pedal?
There are many possible reasons for brake vibration. The most cause is worn-down or warped brake discs. Vibration can also be caused by improper bedding-in of the brake pad, wheel bearing problems, or worn out steering and suspension parts.
What is better? Cross-drilled or slotted brake discs?
It depends on how you use your car. Cross-drilled discs are slightly lighter than drilled discs, dissipate heat faster, are better at water dispersion and make a little less noise. They are slightly less durable than slotted discs in the most extreme conditions, but good quality drilled discs are more than strong enough for even track use. This is usually best for road cars, or cars that see occasional track use. Slotted discs can shave off the top layer of the brake pad, ensuring fresh friction material contacts with the disc. This means more immediate stopping power. It is also slightly sturdier than drilled discs in racing conditions. However, they do shorten the lifespan of your brake pads, especially when used for repeated heavy braking. These are more suitable for more track-focused cars, or race cars. In addition, Brembo offers several slot patterns - each designed for specific motorsport disciplines. For any questions about special requirements, such as specific race applications, off-roading or armored vehicles, Contact Us.
Do bigger discs mean greater stopping power?
Not necessarily. The main effect of increasing the size of the brake disc is increasing the cooling capacity of the brake system. Stopping power is determined more by the brake pad friction material, brake pad surface area, the piston area of the caliper, and the material and design of the brake disc.
Are all two-piece rotors considered floating rotors?
No. Floating rotors are those with hardware that allows for different thermal expansion rates of the cast iron annulus and aluminum rotor hub. The hardware is not tightened too much, which allows the rotor to “float.”
What is the temperature range of Brembo brake pads?
Before we answer this question, it is important to understand that temperature range does not address performance or stopping power. All it does is state at what operating temperatures brake pads are at their best in. This is not a good basis for choosing brake pads unless you are in professional racing. Brembo does not publish temperature ranges for its line of replacement or sport brake pads. They are, however, tested for use from snowy conditions to summers in the desert, meaning they are designed to work in any temperature you will encounter on the road, or over a few laps on a track day. If you are choosing brake pads for professional motorsport, Brembo has several pad compounds - each specifically engineered for specific racing disciplines. Take note, however, that these are not suitable for road use, as their temperature range may be too high for normal driving conditions. In some cases pro motorsport brake pads will require warming up the brakes before competition - usually with tire warmers, or by applying the brakes in the warmup or parade lap before a race. For any questions about special requirements, such as specific race applications, off-roading or armored vehicles, Contact Us. I have an automotive repair shop / automotive parts store. How can I apply to be a dealer?
Contact Us and we will give you a list of requirements for dealer applications. It is easy and painless, and carrying genuine Brembo products tells your customers that your business is serious about quality, safety, and performance.