Imagine your life without a car. You’ll quickly realise how vital a part it plays in our everyday life. They help us get where we need to go – from supermarkets to family vacations. They’ve allowed us to be more practical and efficient with our time, going everywhere we need with ease – from work to hanging out with friends. As a result of all these many roles and benefits that it brings, having a good car that drives safely is paramount. If you’re a fan of utes and want to have one, your safest bet is the Toyota Hilux, which is extremely popular here in Australia.
This 4WD pick-up truck is great for every part of Australian life, from driving on the city routes to venturing into the great Australian outback. However, the focus of this article will not be on the Hilux as a whole or its many great accessories. Instead, I will talk about one essential system for safety that ensures everyone is safe in traffic – the braking system. The braking system has the singular goal of slowing you down and stopping you completely. It is composed of many interdependent parts, but the centrepiece are the Hilux brake pads. As such, I will go into great detail about what it does, how to take care of it, and its many benefits.
The Braking System
As previously mentioned, the brake pads are the centre of the system, and therefore, you need to preserve them and know their value. There are many different types of brake pads for Toyota Hilux. However, not any brake pad will do it, and they’re not independent. They do function in a system together with calipers and brake discs. Accordingly, I’ll explain what to look for when buying brake pads and how your choice will impact the performance and longevity of the other parts.
Choosing the Right One
If you’re looking for new brake pads, the first thing you want to make sure of is that they’re for a Hilux. If it’s a different model or car line, it just won’t cut it. Pads need to match with the car they’re installed on. Otherwise, they might not fit or you won’t be able to use them fully. Some of them can go with multiple generations, which is beneficial as the Hilux has eight generations now, and there might even be a new one coming soon. One way to check compatibility is by checking the dimensions of the pads and wheels, like height, width, length.
Next, you should check the type of pads they are. Specifically, are they for the front wheels or the back wheels? As the front brakes function differently from the back ones, they require different specifications. Finally, you should never buy anything if it doesn’t have a safety-guaranteed label and a warranty. The first one is proof that the manufacturers have tested them and they work without a problem. The second one specifies how many kilometres they can bear without any significant wear. Another possible but more peculiar option is electromagnetic brakes.
There’s more to the braking system than the Toyota Hilux brake pads. It has other pieces that work together with it, namely the rotor (or disc) and calliper. When you hit the brake pedal, lines send a signal to the callipers to push the brake pads to the rotor. As this is done, the brake pads apply pressure to the rotor, creating friction that slows down and stops the vehicle. The rotors are the part that sits behind the wheel assembly, and they’re noticeable if you see through your rims.
Warning Signs and Maintenance
No matter how great a car you have or how great of a driver you are, it’s worthless if you don’t know how to take care of your car. Therefore, it’s important to know what are the warning signs that some part isn’t functioning as it should. This aspect is especially true for braking systems as they’re responsible for keeping you safe while driving. If you notice any of these symptoms, you should go to a mechanic and have it checked or changed. With that said, let’s go into the nitty-gritty.
The first and easiest thing to check is whether the brake light on the dashboards is alight. However, this is also the most inaccurate as it can mean the handbrake is up or many other brake-related problems. In terms of the brake pads for Toyota Hilux, the sure-tell sign is a high-pitched noise while stopping. This noise is a result of the contraction between the pads and the rotor. And if I’m talking about myself personally, the noise from my car is something that bothers me the most. So this high-pitched sound is the worst. On the other hand, if your wheel is shaking or vibrating while braking, it’s the rotor. And it can be the callipers if your car pulls on one side while braking.
If you’re wondering how else to know how long they will last, keep in mind your use of them. As previously explained, all brake pads come with warranties. However, they are not absolute as to how you drive, where you drive, and the weight of your car can make a difference. If you drive only on highways with a good speed and use them well, they’ll last as long as possible. Yet, if you drive in the city with a lot of baggage and stop every minute or so, they’re going to last less.
Aside from the obvious benefit of safety that timely brake pad maintenance and replacement bring, they can be an advantage in other aspects. Nonetheless, the essential use of them is for your safety, and you should never undermine the power that a car has. You can have the quickest and best reactions in the world, but if it’s in a risky situation, your brake pads and brake system in general will make the difference.
Moreover, they can give you better performance. As previously explained, if they’re damaged, they will make a high-pitched sound or similar. If you want a better feel to your car and to have a steadfast driving experience, they are essential.