Most technicians will know that ECE R-90 is a quality standard for brake parts. However, changes that were introduced in November 2016 for brake discs and drums have led to misunderstandings and confusion amongst the garage community. Scott Irwin, Technical Manager at TMD Friction, discusses the ECE R-90 changes that technicians need to be aware of and the impact that updated regulations have on fitting brake parts.
Vehicles introduced to the market after the 1st November 2016 can only be driven with ECE R-90 brake discs and drums. This change has placed an added responsibility on technicians when fitting brake parts, creating a need to pay close attention to the age of the car they’re working on, to ensure the parts they fit comply. Older models that do not fall within the regulations can still be equipped with uncertified parts; it’s only those manufactured after the 1st November last year that need to be treated differently.
As part of its extensive testing and development, TMD Friction has ensured that the bestselling brake discs within its comprehensive brake parts programme – even though not always necessary – are ECE R-90 certified. This helps to take stress away from technicians, as they can rest assured if they’re fitting TMD Friction products, they will be complying with the new regulation changes, says the company. TMD Friction reportedly welcomes the legislative changes to set a minimum market standard with regards to brake security and product quality. It is hoped that this will make it more difficult for counterfeit, low-quality brake products to make their way into the market, which can cause a decline in driving safety.
As all seasoned technicians will be aware, R-90 is a means of evaluating an aftermarket brake part against original equipment. For instance, brake pads that fall within a +/- 15% tolerance are considered fit for purpose – but this is a minimum requirement. According to the company, not only do TMD Friction pads perform well against the tests, they also provide additional benefits that are not evaluated as part of the R-90 regulations. This allows technicians to feel confident in the R&D invested into TMD’s products, particularly with regards to braking performance, comfort, product tests and durability – none of which are specified as criteria for R-90.
In addition to performance and comfort, TMD Friction’s products are also tested for fade, cold friction value, friction stability, noise, feel and response. These characteristics are not required by the ECE R-90, but as driver expectations rise, meeting consumer demands is ever more important.
Keeping up with regulation changes can be tricky, but it’s incredibly important to adhere to them from a safety perspective. Technicians have a responsibility to ensure their customers’ vehicles are roadworthy and legal. If the team at TMD Friction can help to take the headache out of navigating new regulations, it will; in the pursuit to support garages within an ever-changing industry.