One of the most appreciated and most used features by drivers of electric cars is his regenerative braking. On the one hand we recover a part of the energy used in acceleration, and on the other we avoid the use of mechanical brakes. But experts warn that this can cause brake pads and discs to lose their effectiveness due to lack of use.
And it is that like a person, the brakes can also get to rust due to the lack of exercise. If a car is stationary for many months, especially outside and in the most humid months, or it only moves with a very conservative driving style, brake discs can get rusty.
This reduces braking performance, which means increasing the distance we need to stop, mainly in case of having to make an emergency braking. The other consequence is economic, since if the discs degrade, their change costs hundreds of euros.
Electric cars and their brakes: advice for their maintenance
This problem affects all cars, both electric and diesel or gasoline. But according to the experts, the peculiarities of the electric ones mean that we have to take into account both the events of prolonged stops abroad, as well as the effects of the lack of use of mechanical brakes over the years.
A mechanical brake on an electric car only comes into action when the brake pedal is pressed hard. This has the result that if used infrequently, the brake pads can also “fall asleep” and then not develop a sufficient coefficient of friction.
In this regard, some manufacturers have opted for the maligned drum brakes, installed on the rear wheels. An option that is associated with another bygone era, but that many professionals defend precisely because of the lack of oxidation that we can see on the discs.
The solution to the problem is quite simple. Step hard on the mechanical brake from time to time to remove traces of rust that may be starting to be produced, even if it is not really necessary.
For example, we can look for a place where there is no traffic and see that braking will not cause any danger to other drivers, accelerate to a certain speed, It does not have to be very high and can be 50 or 60 km/hand then step on the brake firmly.
We can also do it upon arrival at a roundabout, at a crossroads. Always of course, with the certainty that there is no car behind and with the utmost caution.
You don’t have to hit the brakes either. Simply generating enough inertia that regenerative braking is not able to deal with 100% retention. Something that will allow us to keep the pads and discs in perfect condition for when their use is necessary.