Ever wonder how brake pads hold up to the elements? The pads shown here are Hawk HPS pads which were installed in 2009 and driven in northern Virginia for four years. The mileage driven was relatively low as can be seen by the depth of the remaining pad surface in the photo above. That crack between the pad material and the backing plate? That’s because the two are no longer one.
These pads were originally installed in 2009 for a single day HPDE. Short of that, no track use. Its plain to see these Hawk HPS pads have rusted thoroughly and separated from the backing plate. The owner of this car is a local technician and informs me that while not rare, pad separation does occur however its much more common on vehicles driven in climates that receive much heavier snowfall.
My thought is that the HAWK HPS pad is designed for the street and therefore should have no issues holding up to the rigors of winter climates. Does Hawk believe their brake pads carry an expiration date? We’re buying brake pads here, not orange juice. There should be no label to “Use within seven days of opening”. Hawk is known for their great performance and value for enthusiasts and racers. Granted, most track rated pads don’t live much longer than a year or two before they need replacing but for a high performance street pad marketed for street use, I’m not so sure this is acceptable.
Below is a snippet of Hawk’s Warranty, if interested.
Hawk Performance will warranty products to be free of defects from workmanship and materials. This warranty does not apply to normal wear or damage caused by negligence, lack of maintenance, accident, abnormal operations, or improper installation or service. Hawk Performance does not make any other warranty claims, either expressed or implied, including the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will Hawk Performance be liable for incident or consequential damages of any kind, whether such damages are claimed on account of breach of warranty, breach of contract, negligence, or strict product liability. This includes without limitation, damage to property, or other economic losses that may be incurred.
Their warranty apparently doesn’t apply to normal wear and tear. They also mention lack of maintenance. I didn’t know that brake pads needed servicing to maintain performance.
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