Bendix, Australia’s leading brake manufacturer, has put out the following press release regarding vehicles fitted with stability control:

“The rule of thumb when servicing brakes and brake pads, used to be that since the rear brakes do less work than the front brakes, the pads will last twice as long.

Bendix advise however that in modern cars and vehicles, this is no longer the case. With the advent of traction control, stability programs and electronic brake force distribution systems found in today’s modern cars, the rear brakes are given a workout that is every bit as hard as the fronts, often without us realising it.

Electronic brake force distribution (EBD) is a system that is now found on most modern cars with high safety ratings. EBD works by varying the brake pressure between front and rear wheels, depending on speed, road conditions and how hard the driver is braking. EBD works alongside standard anti-lock braking systems for peace of mind.

Often EBD uses the rear brakes to stop the car from diving under initial brake application. This prevents excessive weight transfer to the front, allowing for more stable handling and a more comfortable ride for the car’s occupants.

In rear wheel drive cars clever traction and stability programs are used in place of a limited slip differential, by braking the inside or outside rear wheels to improve handling and traction. Stability control programs also brake the inside rear wheels to prevent understeer in emergency situations.

Automatic hill descent features are now mostly standard in modern 4X4 and SUV vehicles. The hill descent program individually brakes each wheel while the vehicle goes down a steep slope, without input from the driver. Front and rear brakes are independently used to maintain a specified speed going downhill in slippery off-road conditions. This also results in rear brake pads wearing out sooner than expected.

Bendix brakes are suited to modern car technology that continually improves to meet ever stricter safety regulations. Combined, these offer exceptional on-road safety.

Advice from Bendix is that it is important to make sure that rear brakes, calipers and rotors are checked at the time a service is undertaken.”

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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