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Alarming Lack of Initial Braking in the Wet


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Had to do an emergency stop on the A 303 today in wet conditions and was alarmed to find a severe lack of initial braking. The amount of pressure I had to apply to the brakes just seemed out of all proportion to get the car stopped in time, which it nearly didn't. I was only travelling about 40 mph but the brakes just didn't seem to want to bite. I had this before after cleaning the car and driving down our driveway only to find there were no brakes for the first 20 feet or so. I understand the servo on these cars is a lot less than say an Audi TT, but this was scary and always seems to be in wet conditions.

Just wondered if anybody had any ideas or could suggest a remedy.

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Similar here on the Evora...

https://www.thelotusforums.com/forums/topic/107612-break-pedal-feel/

After most fords (the water crossings, not the cars) there's a sign saying 'Check Your Brakes', water affects all cars, not just Lotus. 

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This reminds me of the MMC brake discs on the early Elise S1. Shockingly poor initial bite in the wet. This was easily fixed by lifting off and braking again. The MMC discs tended to collect a film of water/dirt in the wet (sorry, technically poor explanation) but once you were aware, it was really no issue.

And if you are use to driving cars with no ABS or modern style trick systems, it really is second nature to pump the brake pedal. Sometimes I find myself doing it on the odd occasion I drive a modern, which I would think is totally pointless and slows me down less.

In 14,000 miles in my Evora NA, I cannot fault the brakes except to say they are perhaps too good. I have had blood rush and a light-head on a number of occasions. 

Justin

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Thanks for the replies everyone. However, a £50,000 car that doesn't stop very well in the rain doesn't sound like a good design feature to me! Funnily enough there is a ford in Sidmouth, our local town, and yes there is a sign telling you to test your brakes, but I thought that was for cars built 50 years ago with drum brakes!

I don't know what pads are on the car, but that is probably my first area of looking for a remedy. I shall call A P Racing on Monday to see what their take is.

I'll try your suggestion of lifting off and then re-applying to see if that makes a difference. A bit like cadence braking which I have done in the past, but that's not good when trying to come to a quick stop from a low speed.

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A google search for 'poor brakes in wet' returns 7.2m results. 

https://www.google.co.uk/search?client=opera&q=poor+brakes+in+wet&sourceid=opera&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8

AP make some of the best brakes in the world, and Lotus cars are usually overbraked as Justin noted above. I seem to remember that they aim for deceleration at better than twice the rate of acceleration, so the 60-0 is less than half of the 0-60. 

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  • 4 months later...

Coming from my Evora to an early S2 Elise the brakes are just in different leagues! The S2 has no servo at all and no ABS I don’t think?? The Evoras brake were mighty, they are basically credited as being the some of best in the business...the Elises though really do need a hell of a lot of pressure, but they also have more feel so you know how much grip you have. I won’t be late braking intentionally often that’s for sure, their ultimate stopping power does seem way down on what I’m use to from my previous cars, not just the Evora.

The brakes in my E-Class aren’t as good as I think they should be either, damn heavy car though, something like 1.8t!

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