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Old 08-17-2018, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,906 posts, read 6,501,326 times
Reputation: 7355

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
For those who don't understand the reason why, it's because steadily using the brakes on a long downgrade overheats the pads and rotors which causes brake fluid to boil which creates air bubbles in the fluid and renders the brakes largely useless until things cool down and the boiling stops.

When descending from the top of Pikes Peak it is critical to use the lowest gear possible on those 28% downgrades as the brakes will boil. About halfway down there's a Ranger station where they check the temperature of your brakes and if the temperature is high enough they make you pull over and park for about 20 minutes until the heat subsides. The Ranger uses a cheap handheld kitchen laser thermometer like this one to read the temperature; I've one in my kitchen and love it.
This is worst case scenario, but what is more likely is you will overheat your rotors and they will warp. The result of this is that every time you touch your brakes your steering wheel is going to start shaking violently until you pay for new rotors.

Either way, best to downshift and not use your brakes unless absolutely necessary.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:25 PM
 
1,561 posts, read 2,818,915 times
Reputation: 1994
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
For those who don't understand the reason why, it's because steadily using the brakes on a long downgrade overheats the pads and rotors which causes brake fluid to boil which creates air bubbles in the fluid and renders the brakes largely useless until things cool down and the boiling stops.

When descending from the top of Pikes Peak it is critical to use the lowest gear possible on those 28% downgrades as the brakes will boil. About halfway down there's a Ranger station where they check the temperature of your brakes and if the temperature is high enough they make you pull over and park for about 20 minutes until the heat subsides. The Ranger uses a cheap handheld kitchen laser thermometer like this one to read the temperature; I've one in my kitchen and love it.
I love the smell of burning brakes in the morning... (Apocalypse Now paraphrase)

Never ceases to amaze me how many brake most of the way down the hill east on I-70 from Evergreen. Even those with Colo plates.

Mike - related to your Pike's Peak comment - last year I did the Pikes Peak drive in my Tesla. Ranger commented he's never seen another car besides a Tesla whose brakes were ambient temp at the checkpoint. My car has no gears to shift, but uses regenerative braking (reversing the electric motor into a generator) whenever I ease up on the pedal. This energy, instead of being wasted as heat, is used to recharge the battery, and I gained 25 miles of charge going down hill.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,906 posts, read 6,501,326 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK123 View Post
I love the smell of burning brakes in the morning... (Apocalypse Now paraphrase)

Never ceases to amaze me how many brake most of the way down the hill east on I-70 from Evergreen. Even those with Colo plates.

Mike - related to your Pike's Peak comment - last year I did the Pikes Peak drive in my Tesla. Ranger commented he's never seen another car besides a Tesla whose brakes were ambient temp at the checkpoint. My car has no gears to shift, but uses regenerative braking (reversing the electric motor into a generator) whenever I ease up on the pedal. This energy, instead of being wasted as heat, is used to recharge the battery, and I gained 25 miles of charge going down hill.
I drove the Model 3, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt a couple weeks ago and they all have the single pedal driving. It took a little getting used to, but what a difference in battery life. They also commented that brakes were also expected to last nearly 100,000 miles if it was used properly.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:44 PM
 
20,844 posts, read 39,064,756 times
Reputation: 19080
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK123 View Post
I love the smell of burning brakes in the morning... (Apocalypse Now paraphrase)

Never ceases to amaze me how many brake most of the way down the hill east on I-70 from Evergreen. Even those with Colo plates.

Mike - related to your Pike's Peak comment - last year I did the Pikes Peak drive in my Tesla. Ranger commented he's never seen another car besides a Tesla whose brakes were ambient temp at the checkpoint. My car has no gears to shift, but uses regenerative braking (reversing the electric motor into a generator) whenever I ease up on the pedal. This energy, instead of being wasted as heat, is used to recharge the battery, and I gained 25 miles of charge going down hill.
Thank you.

I recall smelling the smoking brakes of semi-truck steel haulers driving the PA Turnpike near Pittsburgh (those were the days!).

I also recall the sight and smell of railroad car brakes (steel brakes on steel wheels) and have seen pix of them glowing red hot.

My RAV4 hybrid does some regenerative braking (RB) and battery charging so I downshift approaching red lights which provides notable braking force. With proper driving I got 80,000 miles on the brakes of a standard gasoline powered Camry and expect 100,000 miles on my RAV4 brakes, unless I sell it first and get a total EV.

My railroad pals tell me that diesel locomotive use RB on the downhills where it can provide up to 30% of the braking power for trains weighing 10,000 tons. Those big wide things on the top of modern diesel locos are actually huge toasters where they burn off the juice generated by RB since there are no batteries to recharge. The electrical resistance from their traction motors will slow a train when switched into RB mode. For those railroads powered by overhead wires the downhill locos can pump that juice back into the overhead wires and send it to locos heading uphill.

Electricity is an amazing thing.

Even standard gasoline engine cars can use their gears to slow the downhill side and ease wear on their brakes during mountain driving.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
This is worst case scenario, but what is more likely is you will overheat your rotors and they will warp. The result of this is that every time you touch your brakes your steering wheel is going to start shaking violently until you pay for new rotors.

Either way, best to downshift and not use your brakes unless absolutely necessary.
Here's what a hot brake rotor looks like.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 08-17-2018 at 01:04 PM..
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,670 posts, read 4,045,078 times
Reputation: 1220
Drive on the right side downshifted and follow big rigs. It'll still be faster than driving up to Wy.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:31 PM
 
1,561 posts, read 2,818,915 times
Reputation: 1994
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyDog77 View Post
I drove the Model 3, Nissan Leaf, and Chevy Bolt a couple weeks ago and they all have the single pedal driving. It took a little getting used to, but what a difference in battery life. They also commented that brakes were also expected to last nearly 100,000 miles if it was used properly.
I've read 250,000 miles. A friend of mine hit 200K recently and still on original brake pads. Replacement brake pads are actually covered under the standard 50K/4 year warranty. My car has 39K miles on it and the brakes still looked new as of last tire rotation. Only time I touch the brake pedal is below 5 mph, approaching a red light (point at which regen kicks out), or when I need to stop unexpectedly or slow down very quickly.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Washington Park, Denver
6,906 posts, read 6,501,326 times
Reputation: 7355
Quote:
Originally Posted by BarryK123 View Post
I've read 250,000 miles. A friend of mine hit 200K recently and still on original brake pads. Replacement brake pads are actually covered under the standard 50K/4 year warranty. My car has 39K miles on it and the brakes still looked new as of last tire rotation. Only time I touch the brake pedal is below 5 mph, approaching a red light (point at which regen kicks out), or when I need to stop unexpectedly or slow down very quickly.
Yeah I might have misstated that number. The Chevy will actually take you to a full stop so you could probably make those things last forever.
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado
3,274 posts, read 4,011,722 times
Reputation: 4205
I could share an experience of the nice toxic burning brake pad smell I had going down Green Springs mountains in Southern Oregon.. I actually did lose my brakes and was forced to drive in low gear half the way down with no braking ability. My brakes starting working again towards the bottom, but I must have taken a good chunk of the life off of them and the car itself as you a guys are describing. That is what you get for speeding 50mph down a very, windy, steep and twisty one lane road and hitting the brakes constantly at every steep corner. I was about 16 at the time and driving a 90s era Ford Econoline Van .


I remember doing this road as a young teenager and I felt like crapping in my pants on more than one occasion..



https://www.google.com/maps/@42.1237...7i13312!8i6656
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:52 PM
 
Location: MMU->ABE->ATL->ASH
9,110 posts, read 17,058,310 times
Reputation: 9959
Drive East on I70 to Denver Airport, Flight to Vail, Rent Car, Drive to Frisco.
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Old 08-18-2018, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Denver
9,224 posts, read 15,903,815 times
Reputation: 5487
get a chauffeur:

https://www.dryver.com/cities/denver
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