4 Automotive Lessons in Brake Pads and Backing Plates

Imagine driving down a lonely road at top speed. Just after you take the bend, an oncoming trailer with horns blaring comes barrelling down towards your sedan on the wrong side of the road. Your immediate reaction is to panic or say one more prayer before your final exit.

However, for some reason, you gather your senses and manage to swerve safely into a ditch at just about the same time the menacing trailer whizzes past your now upside-down sedan. Just as you start thanking the Almighty for securing you, the trailer rams into the vehicles behind you. Apparently, they were not as lucky.

The cause of the accident? Faulty brakes!

Having strong backing plates is key to any driving experience. Sometimes, a strong backing plate could mean the difference between reaching home safely or causing an accident on the road. Below are the guidelines to why strong backing plates are critical to your car’s brake pads.

1. How Do Backing Plates Work Exactly?

To understand how backing plates work and why they are important to your car, imagine pushing down on your car’s brake pedal. The pressure on the brake pedal is transferred to the brake lines’ hydraulic fluid. As the fluid enters the wheel cylinder, which contains two pistons above and below the backing plate, it pushes the pistons outward. As a result, the brake pads are pressed against the inside of the brake’s drum.

This forces the friction part on the outer side of the brake pads to grip the inner surface of the brake drum. The resulting friction is what brings your car to a stop. This could be a slow, normal stop or an abrupt stop depending on how the entire process is initiated.

2. Backing Plates Hold Together the Braking System

Without the backing plates working correctly, the entire braking system of a car is bound to fail. Every vehicle contains two curved brake shoes attached to a stationary backing plate on either side of the brake plate.

Backing plates provide a firm grip on your car’s braking pads. Whenever a driver puts their foot on the brake pedal, what happens is that the brakes gradually or abruptly grip the backing plate, either bringing the car to a slow or an abrupt stop depending on your braking. If the backing plate is faulty, the chances are good that the braking pads will not hold, which will result in what is commonly referred to as brake failure.

A car’s wheel cylinder is mounted on backing plates, upon which the shoe brakes are attached. As a driver, the most important control you have in a car is your ability to brake, which consists of the ability of the brakes to hold onto the backing plate.

3. Strong Backing Plates Ensure the Brake Pads Work Correctly

When backing plates are worn out and weak, they are most likely to cause irregular brake pad wear. This further weakens the braking system to the point where a driver is no longer in full control. Strong backing plates need to be sturdy enough to withstand the torque and pressure applied to it by the brake pads. A worn-out backing plate is one of the leading causes of brake failure.

4. Strong Backing Plates Will Save You during Extreme Weather

Harsh breaking during extreme weather can exert undue pressure on your brakes and backing plates. This is basically as a result of the separation between the braking pads and the backing plate. Your car comes to a stop when the pad’s friction side is gripped by the backing plate. This action is initiated when a driver presses his foot on the brake pedal.

If a backing plate is weak and worn out, the friction between the brake pads and the plate won’t be strong enough to bring the car to a halt.

As you can see, strong backing plates are critical to auto brake pads.

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