In the automotive production sector, the brake mechanism is one of the most critical aspects to be examined. Failure or inefficiency make it more often than not impossible for a single car to navigate at high speeds and, in essence, it becomes a threat to the driver. For this purpose, automakers are developing cars with innovative braking features to ensure that customers enjoy optimum protection while driving. A car’s braking system consists of many parts, such as a brake liner, brake pedals, valves and brake pads, among other components. Over the years, the use of brake pads as a major component of the braking system has seen significant changes and improvements in the attempt to make stopping easier and faster (Pucket, 2017). Toyota Camry is one of the widely sold vehicles produced by Japan-based Company Toyota.
Since historical times, Toyota Camry has evolved to its current status as widely respected, reliable and efficient vehicle across the globe. As such the car’s braking system, similar to other vehicles, uses the brake pads. These pads are critical aspects in vehicle movement particularly due to their significant function of safety when stopping the car. The brake pads generate friction between them and the brake rotor, and in the process, the motion is reduced until the car stops. Brake pads technology has necessitated the implementation of safe driving through mechanisms such as Vehicle Stability Control, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Brake System, Electronic Brake-Force Distribution, and Brake Assist & Smart Stop Technology. Additionally, Toyota Camry is equipped with a pre-collision system that automatically applies the brakes with the help of the brake pads. The use of disc pads in braking is sometimes referred to as disk brake system, and it is an approach that is characterized by better heat dissipation, higher clamping forces, increased surface area for the pads and better cooling (Parts Geek, 2017).
Mechanically, brake pads function by creating friction between the pad material and the disk rotor. This action leads to the conversion of motion into heat, an event that slows and ultimately stops the car. For quite some time now, the Camry has been recognized as a family car and thus the reasons for the manufacturers ensuring the installation of all the necessary safety measures. Toyota Company is renowned for the creation of reliable cars, and their innovations concerning safety nets such as brakes play a major role in the prevention of accidents. When a driver presses down the brake pedal, the hydraulic system forces the brake pads to be pushed together against the brake rotor. At this point, the kinetic energy generated by the vehicle is subsequently transformed into heat energy. As time elapses and the brake pad-disk interaction continues, the friction created eats away on the pads until they require to be changed (Pucket, 2017).
Toyota Camry’s historical use of brake pads can be traced down to the year 1982-1986 V10 era where the front wheels were composed of ventilated discs and the rear had drums with two valves that prevented lock-up. This system had a sensor that warned the driver of worn-out brake pads by producing a chime sound. The V20 period ranging between 1986 and 1990 saw the continued use of ventilated discs in the front wheels and traditional drums in the rear ones. However, a few Camry models had rear discs and pads, for example, the Holden Apollo had four-wheel disc brakes and brake pad system. Additionally, the anti-lock brake system became an option in some of the vehicles. Currently, the Toyota Camry extensively comes equipped with disc and pad system in all the wheels (Resnick, 2016).
Brake pads have been modified over time to increase braking efficiency. Some of the most notable innovations include the inclusion of brake assist senses such as blind spot monitoring, cruise control, and pre-collision braking. All these capabilities are computer-sensor generated but ultimately implemented by the brake pads, Toyota Camry has also seen an increase in the surface area and design of the brake pads to improve the stopping effect further. One of the major innovations especially in the 2017 Camry model is the performance of the pads in twisty roads. Not only do the pads perform well but also proved to reduce the speed of the Camry from 70-0 miles per hour within a distance of 189 feet (Fink, 2016).
The innovations in safety are composed of six main features which are now the standard of the Toyota Camry. The Star system includes tractions control, anti-lock braking, braking assistance, electronic brake-force distribution, quick stop and stability control. In one way or another, the brake pads are the ultimate implementers of these innovations. The 2017 Toyota Camry can be upgraded using autospecialty brake pads that are engineered for increased braking power. The widespread use of disc brakes makes the use of pads more affordable. The use of ceramics in brake pads is a proven invention of quality combined with efficiency and durability. Other innovations made over the years include the introduction of extended wear brake pads which are stable in a wide range of high temperatures. There are also metallic and semi-metallic brake pads which are developed to ensure proper braking without a lot of noise and minimal vibration. These pads are not only dust-free but also asbestos and copper-free meaning that they are eco-friendly (Power Stop, LLC., 2017).
The previous innovations have spilled over to the current technologies used to improve the function of brake pads. For instance, the present Toyota Camry is fitted with power-assisted disk brakes. The front discs measure 11.65 inches while the rear are solid and 11 inches. This size translates to an increased pad size to cover the surface area of the discs. The presence of hydraulic brake booster, Electronically Controlled Braking (ECB) system and Star Safety Systems also further exemplify the work of brake pads in this vehicle. Other improvements have been made on the Toyota Camry current model’s brake pads. An example is the use of high-performance z16 Evolution ceramic pads. These brake pads offer a higher friction coefficient, the ceramic formula lowers dust, they are powder coated to prevent corrosion, and they also have rubber shims specially engineered for noise insulation. Additionally, such modern pads are chamfered and slotted to ensure noise-free braking. The brake pad surface is also thermal scorches, a practice that facilitates fast break-ins. The use of ceramic material also provides continued braking power over time. This new technology has been proven to be efficient with ISO test results shows that ceramic brake pads are capable of providing 20% or more stopping power than other brands. Likewise, the application of premium carbon-ceramic components based on OE technology sees to it that the pads are more density consistent and thus a superior braking performance that does not fade with usage (Power Stop, LLC., 2017).
Fink, G. (2016, October). 2017 Toyota Camry XSE V-6: For the XSEssive Camry buyer. Retrieved from Car and Driver: http://www.caranddriver.com/toyota/camry
Parts Geek. (2017). Get the Best Priced Toyota Camry Brake Pads. Retrieved from Parts Geek: http://www.partsgeek.com/mmparts/brake_pads/toyota/camry.html
Power Stop, LLC. . (2017). Power Stop® – 1-Click Autospecialty OE Replacement Plain Brake Kit. Retrieved from Carid: https://www.carid.com/2017-toyota-camry-brake-parts/powerstop-1-click-oe-replacement-brake-kit-175168791.html
Pucket, E. (2017). First, Drum vs. Disc Brakes. Retrieved from Toyota Parts Center: http://parts.olathetoyota.com/blog/9346/how-much-brake-pads-cost
Resnick, J. (2016, November 29). Ratings and Review: Toyota’s 2017 Camry hits the midsize sedan market squarely in the solar plexus. Retrieved from New York Daily News: http://www.nydailynews.com/autos/latest-reviews/ratings-review-2017-toyota-camry-article-1.2891136