OT: Pikes Peak Brake Check

Discussion in 'The Rockies – It's all downhill from here...' started by Geek, Sep 7, 2009.

  1. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    So coming down Pikes today we stopped at the mandatory brake temperature check by the lodge where the lady zaps your brakes with a thermometer and makes you pull over if they are too hot.

    I asked her how many she had seen overheated today and she showed me her clip board: "Three pages full so far!".

    On the clipboard was a line entry for each vehicle she'd had stop, its brake temperatures, etc.

    Question: Why on earth do they record this information? :confused
    #1
  2. wzd1a

    wzd1a Long timer

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    To reduce all the horrible accidents on that road.:lol3

    Maybe they should move to poudre Cyn.:deal
    #2
  3. Geek

    Geek oot & aboot

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    I know why they stop and check it... I'm wondering why they write it down?
    #3
  4. wzd1a

    wzd1a Long timer

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    How would I know your doing your job if there is no record? Thus, notes.

    edit: just say someone rear-ended someone else below the check spot (or forbid a worse accident), those records would be checked ... (as I am sure would the instrument calibration) to see if the brakes......

    There must have been some historic incident which instigated the check point - but maybe not.
    #4
  5. Dick

    Dick Its a big old goofy world

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    Brakes? I just use a lower gear and the brakes sparingly. :dunno
    #5
  6. SnowMule

    SnowMule still learning what is and isn't edible Super Supporter

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    Not everyone can think that hard though.

    Hence the brake check.
    #6
  7. Wudscrasher

    Wudscrasher Stand-Up Philosopher Supporter

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    Fixd. :thumb
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  8. Duck_Pilot

    Duck_Pilot Retired Roadracer

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    Because that's what bureaucrats do. For better or for worse.
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  9. Milhaus

    Milhaus Made in Denmark

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    Did you happen to see some the temperatures?! Unbelievable really! I know brakes are cheaper than a transmission, but crickee, use a lower gear for sure!

    Just for discussion purposes, what was the temp on the Husky brakes?
    #9
  10. toddler

    toddler Unpronouncible

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    As a Flatlander from MN and my first time out to CO driving someone elses car for delivery to Breckenridge, I had no clue about mountain driving. We drove straight through when the speed limit was 55. Averaged 69:evil

    The mountains were freaking us out a bit on our equalibrium, but we just wanted to get to Breck. Coming down from the tunnel I rode the brakes all the way, it kept needing more and more pressure to slow us down. Huh?

    Finally with all my force on the brake pedal we got stopped at the exit. Huge amounts of white smoke were coming out of the front wheel wells. Huh?

    It never accurred to me to put the tranny in a lower gear. I've never had to do that before in my life.

    Now I just go faster:D

    Lesson learned.
    #10
  11. abruzzi

    abruzzi Long timer

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    As a government employee, this sums up my entire existence. Sort of a bureaucratic variant on Rev. Berkeley's "if a tree fell in a forest" conundrum.

    Geof
    #11
  12. Joz

    Joz What could go wrong?

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    I've seen friends with an automatic transmission ride brakes for miles. On the way down they pass me and I'm horrified to see the front rotors glowing red! In the day time!
    Yeah, brakes are cheaper than a transmission but not when EVERYTHING has to be replaced or you set your car on fire! And yes, overheated rotors can set an entire car on fire - I've seen that too!
    #12
  13. doc_ricketts

    doc_ricketts Thumper jockey

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    Downshift to a lower gear anytime you can and keep the speed to the point that you can coast down without applying the brakes except intermittently. Braking efficiency goes down as the temperature of the friction parts increase, so the best bet is to actually save your brakes for the emergency, such as an idiot rolling over in front of you. You can improve braking safety by using high quality slotted, drilled rotors and sem-metallic or ceramic pads. Semi-metallic stop better in an emergency, but ceramic pads will give better performance over long downhill braking intervals.
    #13
  14. Tha Rick

    Tha Rick Shake and bake! Supporter

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    When is our next road trip???:lol3


    #14
  15. big_lv

    big_lv Long timer

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    You can downshift an automatic.... I do it all the time. But usually I don't have to do much more than turn off the overdrive.
    #15
  16. pilotgoddess

    pilotgoddess I'm usually high

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    I was up there a few weeks ago and was told whatever I was doing, keep doing it.

    But we queried the guy checking about temps and such and came to learn that they are more worried about the brake fluid as the boiling point is so much lower at such a high altitude. I believe he said somewhere in the 200's. So put this together with people who ride their brakes all the way down and you get a bad situation. My temp was something like 120f. The van full of Lutheran kids in front of us was over 350f. I had not thought about the fluid until the guy said this, only the brakes themselves.
    #16
  17. big_lv

    big_lv Long timer

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    I wonder if the bubbles are what make the brakes squishy... air compresses and fluid doesn't.
    #17
  18. HellSickle

    HellSickle Scone Rider

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    I just pulled my travel trailer over the passes between Ouray & Durango. Those are the first roads where I can remember being in 1st gear coming up *and* down (6000# trailer).

    After coming over Red Mtn Pass & spending 5 days near Silverton, one of the trailer tires slowly went flat. We found a long screw in the tire that had probably been there for some distance. We certainly had a guardian angel looking over us on Red Mountain.
    #18
  19. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    Add in the fact that most people never, ever change their brake fluid and wonder why their brakes have less effectiveness over the years.

    Reputable truck driving rules teach effective brake techniques. If you can't slow your car 10 MPH in five seconds, you are going too fast. Running a higher gear down a hill-auto or otherwise isn't going to do anything to the tranny unless you are moving it in and out of overdrive and the lower gear.


    Choose the gear before the hill. If you went up Monarch in third with a trailer, go down in third.

    When I rolled up Monarch loaded to the gills, it was in second. Going down, it was in second. Didn't touch the brakes more than a few times-and I have upgraded Tundra brakes.

    By the way, most folks also have the lowest bidder brakes as well. So, there you go. I think it is great they check the brakes for the average folks.
    #19
  20. MeterPig

    MeterPig Meh

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    Air and water are not your friend.
    #20