We have so many members with great experience and knowledge in many fields. We need to address some of the most common items that are being seen as sub standard or not up to par.
Many mention brake fade, weak brakes and things of that nature.
I've have a 97 SSEi and had a 95 SSEi. I push my cars reasonably hard frequently and know their abilities. I fully understand the scary feeling of brake fade or weak brakes. Although my feelings of the Bonneville brakes have been that they are pretty good for spirited daily driving.
A few things to consider when we talk about brakes.
The Fluid: All brake fluid can and will get old. How old is your brake fluid? This is a relatively cheap item that is frequently overlooked. .I had the luck of Highlander lending me his power bleeder from Summit Racing (See Powerbleeder Here
). This was key because of how well it flushes each brake line. A large container of synthetic fluid (about $8.) and a little time paid off with a much firmer pedal when stopping.
Front Brake Pads and Rotors: When you take your car to a mechanic or brake shop, they are in business to make money. Therefore they put on a low cost pad unless you specify otherwise. Same with rotors. To give you an idea of how much money they are making, Advance Auto sells standard brake pads to their commercial accounts at $9 a set, rotors are $22-$27 each, the job takes about 30 minutes. Ceramic pads are a high quality, much long lasting pad with low dust qualities. The low dust keeps your rims about 75-90% cleaner than regular pads. On rotors, recently I posted a thread about cheap ($22-$27) rotors versus a premium rotor (about $50). The difference in quality and amount of material is amazing.
Rear Brakes: While they do very little..they should be doing something. Typically they are adjusted when installed and never adjusted again. Odd thing about our cars, you must remove the drum to adjust rear brakes. (there is no knockout plate on the backing plate). Checking to make sure they are adjusted and working properly is the first step.. Then once a month or 2 weeks..back up a few times and stop quick. This adjusts them and keep them where you need them to assist the front brakes in stopping the car.
While there are other components that can fail or cause issues, these three are key in having no fade and good braking qualities.
To help direct this post, I'd like to keep it on the topic. Please, do not post what brand of rotors or brake pads you have. Cheap, premium and synthetic were chosen to keep it general.