Ask The NAPA Experts: How to Pick the Right Brake Upgrade
Stop right there! Is a brake upgrade for your car, truck or SUV on your wish list? Did you know that your local NAPA Auto Parts store, NAPAonline.com and even your local NAPA Auto Care center can hook you up with a brake upgrade kit designed for your driving needs? There are many different brake upgrade kits on the market, so there is definitely something out there for you. However, it is a good idea to educate yourself because some brake upgrades are easier to install than others. Let’s take a look at some of the brake kits available so that you can find the best brake upgrade for your vehicle.
Why Upgrade Brakes?
There are many different reasons why someone might want to upgrade the brakes on their car, truck or SUV. For some drivers, it is all about the appearance. Adding a large diameter wheel with open spokes gives a clear view of the brakes sitting behind the rim. Stock brakes may work fine, but they will look tiny inside a big, fancy wheel. A set of big rotors and calipers fills the space and looks awesome at the same time.
If you tow or haul cargo with a truck, van or SUV, then upgrading your brakes gives an extra measure of safety when you hit the mountains or need to stop in a hurry. This is especially true if you are towing a trailer that isn’t equipped with trailer brakes. Of course, anyone who spends time at the racetrack knows the importance of having brakes that can handle hard stops over and over without fading. In almost every case, choosing a brake upgrade will improve your vehicle in some way.
Easy Brake Upgrades
Installing a set of brake caliper covers is one of the easiest brake upgrades you can do. MGP Brake Caliper Covers hide your boring brake calipers and give a pop of color to your wheel wells. They clip-on easily for a cool look with minimal fuss. Prefer to dress up your factory calipers? Give them a coat of eye-catching paint for that custom look everyone wants.
Another easy brake upgrade is simply changing to performance brake pads. Brands like EBC, Hawk, Maxim, Power Stop and StopTech make brake pads that fit your factory calipers and greatly enhance your stopping power. Just pick the friction material that best matches your needs and application. Installation is as easy as any other brake job and no modifications are required.
You can also upgrade your disc brake rotors with a performance set from EBC, Maxim, Power Stop or StopTech. Get rotors that are coated for corrosion resistance or that are made from a different material. Of course, everyone loves the looks of cross-drilled and slotted rotors, but you can also just get rotors that are not slotted or cross-drilled. Know that these aggressive rotors may wear down brake pads faster, so you will need to check your brake wear more often.
Need another easy win with upgrading brake lines? Factory rubber brake lines work fine for normal driving, but their construction inherently allows for a small amount of lost braking pressure. Rubber brake lines expand ever so slightly during braking (like a balloon), which is fine for normal driving. However, when the moment calls for using every bit of braking pressure, a set of braided stainless steel brake lines can deliver fast results. These brake lines are a direct replacement for stock rubber brake hoses. Braided stainless steel brake lines have superior brake pressure handling ability, while also looking great.
Last on the list of easy brake upgrades is high-performance brake fluid. If you are already changing brake lines, then you will need to bleed your brakes anyway. Instead of grabbing your normal brake fluid, pick up a bottle of performance brake fluid. It is very important to make sure the brake fluid is compatible with your brake system. Then, just flush your brake system and refill with performance brake fluid. Now you are less likely to suffer from high-temperature brake fluid problems.
Brake Upgrade Kits
Turn your next brake job into a brake upgrade with a disc brake rotor and brake pad kit. If you are replacing your pads and rotors, why not step up your braking performance? Pick up a brake kit from StopTech, EBC or Maxim for an easy brake enhancement. These kits include matched brake pads and rotors designed to work together, so no guessing which brake compound works best with which brake rotor design. Each disc brake and rotor kit are matched to your vehicle to help maximize braking performance without breaking the bank. If you are getting new brakes, why not upgrade?
Now we’re talking about stepping up to the big brake kit of your dreams. These performance brake kits give you upgraded disc brake rotors along with massive disc brake calipers. Brembo brake kits are very popular, so why not treat your Ford Mustang to a Brembo big brake kit. You can also choose a StopTech big brake kit, which also includes stainless-steel brake lines. Whichever of these big brake kits you pick, you can bet that not only will your vehicle stop better than ever, but it will also look awesome doing it. This is the kind of upgrade that not only looks great though—it can help shave seconds off your lap times.
If you’re ready for a big brake kit upgrade, shop NAPAonline or head over to your local NAPA Auto Parts store. Also, make sure to sign up for NAPA Rewards and start earning Points toward your next purchase. Simply shop online or at a participating store to earn 1 Point for every $1 you spend. Once you earn 100 Points, you get $5 off your next purchase automatically!
Prefer to let someone else do the work? The ASE-trained brake technicians at your local NAPA Auto Care can help you choose the right brake upgrade for your particular vehicle and your driving needs. They can handle the complete installation and have you stopping on a dime (while leaving you leftover change) in no time.
Photo courtesy of Pexels.
With an automotive writing career spanning over two decades, Brian has a passion for sharing the automotive lifestyle. An avid DIYer he can usually be found working on one of his many project cars. His current collection includes a 1969 Olds Delta 88 convertible, BMW E46 sedan, and a slant-6 powered 1975 Plymouth Duster.