12 May Track Day Prep: Car Racing Brakes and Tires
If you are like most of us, you are really feeling the need to get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. For us high performance car enthusiasts, that may include a day spent at the local track. Now, while YOU may be ready and able, hit the brakes a minute and evaluate your vehicle first. How long has it been since you’ve had a peak under the hood? Checked out those brake pads & rotors? Inspected your tires and wheels for wear, damage or low pressure? Before you head out to the track, you’ll need to set aside some time to perform a full mechanical check of your vehicle. Car racing and track days require a bit more evaluation and maintenance than normal driving conditions. This Track Day Prep will give you a head start making sure both you, and your vehicle can operate safely while on the track, in the pit, or on the drive back home.
Track Day Prep
High performance driving can take a much larger toll on your vehicle’s components than driving on the highway or within the city, that you do normally. A single day at the track can equal the stresses, wear, and tear of driving several months under standard driving conditions. Pretty crazy, right? I cannot stress enough how important evaluating and assessing your vehicle’s key components are, BEFORE you get on the track.
Brakes – Pads and Rotors
While acceleration is important for a successful track day, being able to slow and stop your momentum is actually the more important factor. You never want to lose control of your vehicle on the track due to brake failure. It endangers you, your vehicle and everyone else at the track. Be sure your brake pads are up to the challenge. If you are not going to replace them with high-temperature brake pads specifically for race day, then make sure they have more than 1/2 life remaining. Check your rotors for wear and cracks. Be aware of their performance while on the track and bring your car into the pit area if you smell them, or have to push harder on the brake pedal to get more stopping power.
Brake Fluid – Braking System
Brake fluid absorbs moisture over time. Under heavy use, brake fluid can heat up past the boiling point, causing air bubbles to form in the fluid. Once that happens, braking can lose its consistency, which can prove disastrous on the track. Changing out your brake fluid to a high temperature or racing type brake fluid will help. Then, don’t forget to check for leaks and look over the brake lines, calipers, and master cylinder for any issues. Finally, double check that your brake lights are in good working condition.
Tires and Wheels
Check over your tires thoroughly and with great care. Your tires need to be free of cracks, tears, slow leaks, bulges, bare spots, uneven tread, and exposed tire cords. They should be mounted and balanced properly on your wheels. Give your wheels a good once-over too. They should be free of cracks and all other structural issues. Don’t forget your lug nuts – they should be torqued to your manufacturers specifications.
Looking for a Car Racing Maintenance Package?
If this seems like a lot of work, you’re right, it is. And it’s only the tip of the iceberg to ensure you spend your time behind the wheel while at the track, and not under the hood. If you have limited time before track day, I have a suggestion. Have the experts do the dirty work for you, instead of hoping-for-the-best and skipping the mechanical checks.
BMW & Audi Experts
A-1 Imports Autoworks is able to complete all necessary maintenance and track day prep to get your vehicle race ready. Technicians are ATI certified, so you can trust them to handle both old and new models. We offer basic maintenance, performance upgrades, and diagnostic services, including:
- Brake System Upgrades
- Tire and Wheel Checks
- Fluids Inspection & Flush
- Engine Components
- Interior Safety & Comfort
Looking for restoration services on older BMW automobiles? We have experience with rebuilding 325i BMW Spec E30 race cars as well.
Visit our website or call (415) 453-3601 to request an appointment today!