What Are The Disadvantages Of Disc Brakes?

By Slyng Team

Updated Feb 18, 2024

In Learn Feb, 2024

Disc brakes are a popular choice for car owners, as they provide many benefits over traditional drum brakes. However, there are also some disadvantages to using disc brakes. You need to be aware of these disadvantages before deciding which type of brake system to install on your vehicle.

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    This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of disc brakes. Hopefully, you will be able to make an informed decision about which type of brake system is best for your needs and what are the disadvantages of disc brakes.

    What Is A Disc Brake?

    A car disc brake is a braking system that utilizes two rotors mounted on each side of the car's wheel. The rotor has a set amount of friction between it and the vehicle's tire.

    When applied to either side during use, this friction causes an increase in stopping power.

    Disc brakes are also known as "disk" or "disc rotary brakes." These types of braking systems have been around for over 100 years now. So, it shows that they are popular in the market. And this is because they provide many advantages over traditional drum brakes (which were used before discs).

    How Do Disc Brakes Work On A Car?

    The primary function of car discs and hydraulic disc brakes is to dissipate heat from your braking system. In general, this increases its overall efficiency during use.

    The heat generated by friction between pads and rotors causes wear down over time. This phenomenon is known as "brake fade." Disc brakes dissipate heat more effectively than drum brakes. So, car disc brakes help to reduce brake fade and maintain a consistent level of braking performance.

    Car disc brakes also provide increased stopping power. This extra stopping power is due to the friction between the rotor and tire.

    This feature makes car disc brakes an ideal choice for drivers who need to stop quickly or perform emergency maneuvers.

    Meanwhile, disc brakes outperform drum brakes in wet conditions by having more friction on wet roads.

    Finally, passengers in a car with disc brakes are safer in the event of a car accident caused by brake failure – something that is less likely to happen when using this type of braking system.

    What Are The Disadvantages Of A Car Disc Brake?

    Disc brake pads do offer many benefits over traditional drum brakes. But, they also have a few disadvantages that you should be aware of. Hopefully, it helps you choose the right brake system to install on your car. Some of the critical drawbacks of using car discs include:

    Increased Cost

    Car owners who choose to install disc brakes will need to pay more for their vehicles than those who stick with traditional drum brakes. This is because disc brake systems require additional parts and labor to install correctly.

    More Maintenance Required

    To ensure that your car disc brake pad life lasts long, you will need to perform routine maintenance tasks. These include cleaning the rotors and replacing the pads every few years.

    On the other hand, drum brakes do not require this level of attention. This is something you need to take into consideration.

    What Are the Disadvantages of Disc Brakes
    Photo Credit: Your Mechanic

    Reduced Stopping Distance In Very Cold Weather

    Mechanical disc brakes may not provide the same level of stopping power as they do in normal conditions when it's freezing outside. This is because the brake pads can freeze to the rotor if too much moisture is present.

    It is recommended that car owners who live in cold climates consider switching back to drum brakes during the winter months. They might also consider using a lower-performance disc system.

    The Benefits Of Car Disc Brakes

    Despite their few disadvantages, car disc rim brakes offer several benefits over traditional drum brakes. Some of the key benefits of using disc brakes include:

    Increased Stopping Power

    One of the most significant advantages of a disc brake system is that they provide significantly more stopping power than traditional drum brakes. This makes them a better option for drivers who need to stop quickly or perform emergency maneuvers.

    Longer Interval Of Car Disc Brake Pad Replacement

    The heat generated can cause the pads and rotor to wear down over time when braking. This phenomenon is known as brake fade.

    Disc brakes help to reduce brake fade by dissipating heat in a more effective way than drum brakes. As a result, your car will be able to stop safely even after extended use. Other than that, the car disc brake pad replacement doesn't have to be done as often.

    Better Braking Performance In Wet Conditions

    Disc brakes and caliper brakes can better stop a vehicle when it is raining or snowing. This is because they have more friction than drum brakes on wet roads.

    Safer In The Event Of Car Accident

    Car accidents can be caused by brake failure if the disc isn't properly maintained and replaced every few years. Car owners that use disc systems and quality brake levers can have peace of mind, though. They can enjoy an increased level of safety. This is due to their enhanced stopping power and reduced likelihood of experiencing brake fade over time.

    Are Disc Brakes Right For You?

    Car discs and brake lever sets provide better stopping power than drum brakes and are less likely to experience brake fade over time. Plus, they dissipate heat more effectively during operation with the help of a good brake fluid! So, they don't require as much maintenance as other types of brake systems do. 

    However, if you're looking for a less expensive option, then maybe it would be best just stick with what your vehicle came equipped with from the factory (drum). Car disc brakes can get expensive. It depends on the make/model of the vehicle that needs them installed. So, make sure this type of upgrade makes sense for you financially before deciding.

    That said, while car disc brake pad and brake caliper replacement is more expensive and requires more maintenance than traditional drum brakes, the benefits of this type of braking system outweigh its disadvantages.

    Final Thoughts

    So, if you are in the market for a new car or are thinking about upgrading your current vehicle's brake system, be sure to consider installing disc brakes. Your safety – and the safety of your passengers – may depend on it.

    Car disc brake pad replacement is an important decision that should not be taken lightly. At the end of the day, it's essential to weigh all of the pros and cons of car disc brakes before deciding if they are suitable for your vehicle. If you're looking for an enhanced level of stopping power and don't mind performing some routine maintenance, then installing discs on your car is a great way to go!

    But if cost is a concern, then maybe sticking with drum brakes is the best option for you. Car owners should consult with their mechanic to see which brake system will work best for them and their driving habits. Of course, you can also contact our team anytime you want.

    Still not sure which type of brake is right for you? Feel free to discuss with us at Road Cartel! We will be more than happy to assist you until you find the right four-wheel disc brake or drum brake for your car.