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Compounds used in different brake materials can make a difference in the barking force you have to apply to stop the car.
After new brake work is done the brakes do need time to fit, that is the rotors or drums need to fit the shoes or pads completely and this period of newness requires the brakes be applied without excessive force, the materials must wear into each other. During this time there is excessive dusting of the brake material and this dusting must be removed or allowed to be removed from between the mating surfaces. Glazing of the friction material produces a rather tight, dense material instead of the frictional material. A glazed surface will spin whereas the normal material will have its properties of friction and it is friction that slows you down. After all the brake pressure shoves the friction material onto the rotors and as more pressure is applied the friction material causes the spinning rotor to slow and come to a stop.
If your pressure system is compromised by ingress of air, by virtue of dirty old brake fluid, by hygroscopic reaction with water in the air, or simply by age. Brake fluid requires a change out at about 3 year interval.
Excessive foot pressure is needed when disc brakes become wet and they do each and every time they are allowed to cool as when you drive then park. The action of parking cools the metal and condenses any water vapor and then when you drive away you rub the wet rotor over the friction material and hear a squeal until the braking surfaces get warm enough to evaporate and moisture and leave a small amount of dirt. A regular PM at least 2x a year is needed to check the brakes.
Rubber cups, pistons, hydraulic actions are all needed to be cleaned as they push/pull to apply brakes. Disk type brakes are more open than drum type brakes and although disk type are more or less self cleaning and self adjusting they need more attention because of their operation.
Brakes just by being there need attention, they are made to wear out. The length of useable time varies with the person pushing the brake peddle, the type of driving, and where they are driving. The over all materials used for brakes will also determine life span.
A softer friction material will quiet the brakes but shorten the pad time.
A harder material will lengthen the brakes but may wear the rotors.
A balance is needed unless you are a person with a heavy foot and in this case there really is no great braking system because too much gas will mean too much braking and in very little time too much money will be spent in going and stopping