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Is it Brake Pad fade or Brake Fluid fade?

Published: 2014-05-21 10:45:44
Last Updated: 2014-05-21 10:50:58

Brake pad fade happens when the temperature at the interface between the pad and the disc exceeds the thermal capacity of the pad; the pad then loses friction capability mainly due to out-gassing of the binding materials in the pad compound. The brake pedal remains firm and solid but the car will not stop no matter how hard you push on the pedal. The first indication is a distinctive smell which is a signal to back off.
Some solutions include better cooling system, higher mass brake disc size and vane configuration or higher heat range pad compound.

Brake fluid fade is a gradual process.  Boiling brake fluid develops gas bubbles in the calipers. The brake pedal becomes soft and pedal travel increases because gas is compressible.  One can still stop the car by pumping the pedal but efficient modulation is gone. The damaged fluid must be completely replaced. To correct this problem you may need an improved cooling system and/or higher grade racing brake fluid. The importance of keeping fresh brake fluid in the system and regular bleeding (before every session) is very important.

Source: http://www.pagidracing.com/service/technical-info/