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I was watching a car review on YouTube recently. I know that carbon ceramic brakes are often a huge optional extra on cars and they're normally physically huge as well (from what I can tell).

What is the difference between standard and carbon ceramic brakes?

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The huge size is not limited to carbon ceramic, that's just an attribute of most high performance cars' rotors.

Carbon ceramic brakes are more expensive because the exotic compound does a much better job of dissipating heat than traditional steel rotors. Because they are able to dissipate heat faster, they do not get "soft" as quickly as other brakes. "Getting soft" means the brakes perform worse: they do not brake as hard and do not stop the car as quickly.

When brakes get "soft" they are typically too hot to operate. Brakes work by converting physical energy into heat. In some cases, they can also convert this into light energy, as is often the case with carbon ceramic brakes when they glow red.

Although brakes can also get "soft" by boiling your brake fluid or getting air in the lines, you will typically see this due to overheated rotors as opposed to brake fluid issues.

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  • Good layman answer.
    – race fever
    Jan 15, 2016 at 21:33

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