Considering Auto Mechanic School? Brake Bias & How it Affects Braking Performance

There’s a lot that goes into slowing a vehicle down. On any car, the braking system is influenced by a number of different components and processes. One important factor which influences the effectiveness of a vehicle’s braking system is brake bias. Brake bias is the ratio of deceleration force delivered to the vehicle’s front and rear wheels. 

In a front-wheel-drive vehicle, around 80% of the bias goes to the front set of wheels, while 20% goes to the rear. This means that a large majority of the braking force is placed upon the front wheels. In a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, braking bias is more equally distributed, with anywhere from 60%-70% of the force going to the front wheels. 

If you’re entering an auto mechanic career, understanding how a vehicle’s brake bias affects its performance will be important when it comes to properly servicing the braking system. Read on to discover the influence of brake bias.

If You’re in Auto Mechanic School, Here’s How Brake Bias Affects How a Vehicle Drives

Brake bias can significantly affect a vehicle’s performance and driving style. Depending on the bias of a vehicle’s brakes, either the front or the rear wheels will lock first when the brake pedal is pressed. In a front-biased vehicle, the front wheels lock up first. If the brake bias is out of balance, this can cause a vehicle to understeer, turning less than the driver wants it to. The opposite happens in a rear-biased vehicle, which will oversteer and turn more than a driver plans to. 

Brake bias affects how force is distributed to a vehicle’s brakes

A vehicle’s brake bias can be affected by a number of elements. If alterations are made to a vehicle’s suspension system or tires, this can lead to changes in weight between the front and the back of the vehicle, causing an unfavourable brake bias. When a vehicle is lifted or lowered, the brake bias can also change, as a vehicle with a lower centre of gravity will have more bias on its front axle. If you want to become an auto mechanic, knowing how brake bias can affect the performance of a vehicle will help you to administer changes to achieve the right balance.

Why it’s Important to Drive a Correctly Biased Vehicle

When a vehicle has the optimal brake bias, drivers have more control over their driving experience. In a vehicle with an accurate brake bias, the front brakes will typically deliver more braking force than the rear ones. This is due to the fact that today, most vehicles are equipped with engines located towards the front. This weight distribution means that more braking power is needed on the front rather than the back. 

When a vehicle has the correct brake bias, drivers are able to better handle their vehicle

If the vehicle has too much bias on one of its axles, this can lead to problems with braking efficiency. The front or rear tires can become worn at a disproportionate rate, and the brake pads can also suffer from uneven wear. An unbalanced brake bias can lead to an unstable and dangerous driving experience for drivers, so it’s important to ensure that every vehicle maintains an optimal balance.

How to Optimize a Vehicle’s Brake Bias

After graduating from auto mechanic school, one of your jobs might be to examine a vehicle’s brake bias and determine whether it needs to be fixed. When optimizing the brake bias set up, start by checking the vehicle’s weight distribution and examining the braking system itself. Your observations will give you some key insights into what adjustments are needed to create the best bias. If the front bias needs to be increased, consider replacing the front brake rotors for ones with a larger diameter, or exchanging the rear brake motors for a smaller size. The same alterations can also be made to the caliper pistons. Additionally, the front axles can be replaced for axles which weigh less, and vice versa. In order to increase the rear bias, the opposite adjustments can be performed.

Throughout your career as an auto mechanic, be sure to make the proper adjustments to a vehicle with unbalanced brake bias issues in order to keep drivers safe on the roads.

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