Seat Leon >> Braking effect and braking distance

The braking effect and braking distance are influenced by driving situations and road conditions.

The efficiency of the brakes depends directly on the brake pad wear. The rate of wear of the brake pads depends to a great extent on the conditions under which the vehicle is operated and the way the vehicle is driven. If you often drive in town traffic, drive short distances or have a sporty driving style, we recommend that you have the thickness of your brake pads checked by an Authorised Service Centre more frequently than recommended in the Service Schedule.

If you drive with wet brakes, for example after driving through water, after heavy rainfall or after washing the car, the braking effect will be reduced as the brake discs will be wet, or possibly frozen (in winter): the brakes must be “dried” through careful braking.

The brake fluid must be changed every two years at the latest. Heavy use of the brakes may cause a vapour lock if the brake fluid is left in the system for too long. This prevents the brakes developing their full braking effect.


Longer braking distances and faults in the brake system increase the risk of accidents.

• New brake pads must be run-in and do not have the correct friction during the first 200 km. However, the reduced braking capacity may be compensated by pressing on the brake pedal a little harder. This also applies when new brake pads are fitted.
• If brakes are wet or frozen, or if you are driving on roads which have been gritted with salt, braking power may set in later than normal.
• On steep descents if the brakes are excessively used they will overheat.

Before driving down a long steep gradient, it is advisable to reduce speed and change to a lower gear (or move the selector lever to a lower gear if your vehicle has automatic transmission). This makes use of engine braking and relieves the brakes.
• Never let the brakes “rub” by applying light pressure. Continuous braking will cause the brakes to overheat and will increase the braking distance. Apply and then release the brakes alternately.
• Never let the vehicle coast with the engine switched off. The braking distance is increased considerably as the brake servo does not function.
• Very heavy use of the brakes may cause a vapour lock if the brake fluid is left in the system for too long. This impairs the braking effect.
• Non-standard or damaged front spoilers could restrict the airflow to the brakes and cause them to overheat. Observe the relevant instructions before purchasing accessories  “Modifications”.
• If a brake circuit fails, the braking distance will be increased considerably.

Contact a qualified workshop immediately and avoid unnecessary journeys.

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