Which Brakes Are More Important: Front or Rear Brakes?September 01, 2021
Did you know that 60-90% of your car’s braking power comes from the front brakes? This has a lot of implications for you as a car owner. For one, your front brake pads will wear faster so you will need to replace them more frequently. You might also need to pay more attention to your front rotors.
Today, we will tell you everything about your front and rear brakes and what you should do to maintain the best vehicle performance.
Your front brakes do the heavy lifting when it comes to stopping your vehicle thanks to the manufacturer’s design, built to avoid rear brakes locking up. When you brake, the weight of the car shifts from the rear to the front. To stabilize the vehicle, front brakes must lock up first. If the rear brakes lock up first, your car will spin. You see this happen in drifting, when the driver pulls the e-brake on purpose, locking up the rear wheels to perform the maneuver.
How do front brakes work?
The front brakes are designed to be heavier and thicker thanks to Newton’s Law of Motion - the object in motion wants to stay in motion. When you are stopping and the vehicle’s weight shifts from the back to the front, the brakes absorb excessive friction and heat up to Fahrenheit 500.
Your front brakes actually have larger and thicker rotors than rear brakes to withstand this!
While the brakes do act on all four wheels in newer vehicles, if your front brakes gave out, you would lose most of your braking power and not be able to slow down or stop. If your rear brakes don’t work on the other hand, your vehicle will perform basically the same.
Your rear brakes are designed to withstand much lower temperatures and less heat stress. The maximum braking power they will ever provide is under 40%. On the back brakes, you have smaller rotors, calipers, and thinner brake pads. This is important to know if you are replacing your brakes yourself and need to buy the right parts.
Are front or rear brakes more important?
The front brakes are more important and you should pay more attention to your front brake pads and rotors, while definitely not neglecting your rear brakes.
Do I need to replace front brakes and rear brakes at the same time?
Because your front brakes wear out much faster, we recommend replacing your brakes in repairs - front at one time, back at another time. You will likely need to replace your front brake pads sooner than your rear brake pads.
When should I replace my front brakes?
Replace your front brake pads if you are hearing any noises coming from the brakes like squealing, metal-on-metal grinding, or if you are experiencing brake shudder and car vibrating when you are applying the brakes. Most brake pads last between 30,000-50,000 miles, but this lessens if you drive really aggressively or have a sports car.