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  • How To Change Brake Pads And Rotors | Autoblog Wrenched

    Changing your brake pads and rotors can save you a couple hundred bucks and a trip to the mechanic. Find out how on this episode of Wrenched.

    Watch all of our Autoblog Wrenched videos for more tips on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars from professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you're at it, check out Larry's other car cleaning and maintenance video series Autoblog Details!

    Materials Used:

    • Brake Pads
    • Screwdriver
    • Socket Set
    • Brake Cleaner
    • Grease
    • Scotch-Brite Pad
    • Gloves
    • Zip Ties
    • Breaker Bar
    • Rotor
    • C-Clamp Piston Compressor
    • High Temp Grease
    [00:00:00] - [Narrator] Changing your brake pads and rotors can save you a couple hundred bucks and a trip to the mechanic shop. Here's what you'll need to complete the job: brake pads, screwdriver, socket set, brake cleaner, grease, Scotch-Brite pad, gloves, zip ties, breaker bar, rotor, C-clamp, and high temp grease. I'm Larry Kosilla, pro detailer and trainer for the last 15 years. But when it comes to what's under the hood, I'm the student. Follow me as experts teach me how to diagnose,

    [00:00:30] fix, and modify cars on autoblog's Wrenched. How often should you change brake pads and rotors? - Depends on the type of vehicle you drive, the pad material, and how hard you drive the car. Some of our race cars go through a set of brake pads in one day. - [Larry] Some of the procedures you're about to see will vary from vehicle to vehicle. Consult a shop manual or an online resource for your specific car. Brake pads have a squealer that tells the driver when replacement is necessary. Some are metal and make noise;

    [00:01:00] while some are electronic and trigger a warning light. Be sure you're replacement pads have this feature as this is vital to your safety. For step one, Joe turns the steering wheel to give me easy access to the front and back of the brakes. Then, we remove the slide pins, which hold the caliper on the rotors. This may require an alan key, torque, or other special socket, depending on your particular vehicle. If the pin happens to be rusty, you can use penetrative oil and a breaker bar, which is basically a longer ratchet,

    [00:01:30] giving you more leverage to easily loosen the bolt. Some calipers have a spring retention clip that may need to be popped off with a screwdriver. Next, remove the caliper, and use a screwdriver if needed, especially if its rusted. Then, slide the old brake pads out. It's a good idea to hook a zip tie through the caliper and connect it to the shock, so it's not resting solely on the brake lines, which will damage the rubber and cause it to leak.

    [00:02:00] In order to remove the rotor, you first need to completely remove the caliper holder with two rear bolts. Now, remove the rotor from the hub, but on some cars there's a screw holding it in place, like this one here. At this point of the rotor won't come off, and especially if you're not reusing it, you can gently hit it with a hammer to quickly remove it from the hub.

    [00:02:30] Afterwards, scrub the hub with a Scotch-Brite pad or a wire brush. So the new rotor can sit flush on the hat. Before installing the new rotor, wash it quickly with brake clean, to remove its protective coating applied from the factory to protect it in shipping. Then add a bit of high temp grease to prevent the rotor from sticking to the hub the next time we change them. Hand tighten a lug nut to hold the rotor in place, or in our case, a screw is used to hold the rotor on the hat. Next, clean the caliper holder quickly

    [00:03:00] with a Scotch-Brite pad, and add a little bit of grease to the areas where the outer metal shims touches the caliper and the piston. This is done to help minimize squeaking and potential seizing in the future. If you're using original equipment that came with the car, then your torque specs will be in your manual. However, if you're using aftermarket parts, the bolts and the type of threading may be different, so consult your manufacturer for specific torque specs.

    [00:03:30] Apply grease or high temp silicone to the slide pins to help them, well, slide in and out smoothly as the brakes are compressed and released. We'll need them in a minute, so put them close by. Now its time to put the new brake pads in the caliper. But since the new pads are thicker than the old pads, we need to compress the hydraulic piston back into the caliper, so they fit properly. You can do this in two different ways.

    [00:04:00] Any basic C clamp that fits in the bottom of the piston and simply twist, or this inexpensive piston compressor. Place the tool in the caliper, squeeze the handle, and compress the piston until it's flush against the housing. By doing this, we've created more room in the caliper for the new thicker brake pads to fit over the rotors. Before installing the new brake pads add grease to the back of each pad prior to placing it in the caliper for a smooth and squeak free movement.

    [00:04:30] The pad with the metal clip on the back, snaps into the piston connected to the caliper. And sometimes this can take a bit of force to clip in. Try to avoid touching the friction side of the pads with greasy hands. With the pads in place, snip the caliper zip tie, and hold the weight from tugging on the brake line. Carefully place the caliper over the rotor and the other pad. Once in place, install the
    slide pins we lubricated earlier and torque them down to your vehicle's spec.

    [00:05:00] This is an extremely important step, you don't want the bolts too loose or too tight. If you're unsure, call your local parts department for advice. Some, but not all calipers have an extra metal clip to secure the pads and the calipers in place. Likewise, if your car has an electronic brake pad sensor, like this modern car, clip them in now. Once you've finished all four corners, and reinstalled the wheels, be sure to gently apply the brakes at first when driving, known as betting the brakes.

    [00:05:30] To do this properly, get the car up to 35 miles an hour, and slowly apply the brakes until you get to about 10 miles an hour. Then, speed up to 35 again, and repeat the process a few more times. Avoid hard braking at first, to keep from glazing the pads and rotors. The goal here is to gradually build up heat in the rotors and the pad compound, which will lay down a thin layer of film on the rotors surface, for better performance, and ultimately smoother braking for the life of the pads. The brakes of any car are it's the most important feature

    [00:06:00] and should be given special care and attention to ensure the proper safety of its passengers and our fellow drivers on the road. For more how to car repairvideos, visit I'm Larry Kosilla from as always, thanks for watching.
  • Tesla rolls out Model 3 braking update to tackle reviewer complaints


    Tesla is making good on its promise to improve the Model 3's braking through a firmware upgrade. Elon Musk has confirmed that a fix for the EV's inconsistent brake performance started reaching cars on May 25th. The update should reduce the braking distance by about 20 feet for "repeated heavy braking events," according to the exec. That's no doubt meant to help reviewers like those at Consumer Reports (whose less-than-flattering review prompted the update), but something tells us that drivers won't complain about anything that could help them avoid a collision.

    CR previously said it would take another look at the Model 3's braking performance once the upgrade was in place, and Tesla is no doubt hoping this will earn it a recommendation (or at least, a higher review score). It's mainly just a question of whether or not this will have any positive effects for braking performance as a whole, since few drivers will have to slam on the brakes more than once in a long while.

    Either way, this is an unusual solution in the automotive world. Car makers are no strangers to releasing firmware updates, but it's rare that they affect critical functionality like the brakes. This might be a hint at what driving will be like going forward – performance traits that once seemed set in stone can change with a quick patch.

    Ryan McCaffrey


    Elon, might you be willing to answer 1 more thing about the brakes on Performance Model 3? I'm still hoping to get those red brake calipers you kindly said "maybe" to, but I'm also curious if the brakes are larger than on RWD. With all that power it'd seem like they need to be!

    Elon Musk


    Also, firmware fix for upgraded brake performance on standard Model 3 started rolling out yesterday. Should improve braking distance by ~20 ft for repeated heavy braking events. Thanks @ConsumerReports for excellent critical feedback!

    394 people are talking about this

  • 2019 BMW 3 Series already getting M Performance parts thrown at it

    • Image Credit: BMW
    BMW just showed us the 2019 BMW 3 Series at the Paris Motor Show, but now we get the lowdown on what M Performance parts you can tack onto it. The people over at BMW created a package of 10 items with true performance improvements.

    It starts with visual and aero changes using plenty of carbon fiber. An M Performance splitter, spoiler and rear diffuser work together to reduce lift. M-branded side sills, tailpipes and mirror caps round out the modifications you can see on the outside. The tailpipes are said to be especially resistant to corrosion as they're made out of titanium and carbon fiber.

    On the inside you get an M Performance steering wheel with carbon fiber shift paddles — BMW just told us the U.S. won't be getting a manual 330i or M340i. There will be even more carbon fiber trim throughout the interior with special M Performance floor mats as well. Moving on to the brakes, we get upsized rotors that are perforated and grooved. BMW's press release says they are 18-inch front rotors; that is obviously wrong (largest in the world are on the Lamborghini Urus at 17.3 inches). We contacted BMW and a spokesperson confirmed the mistake, but we're still waiting for official figures. Four-piston calipers made of aluminum and painted in red clamp down on those larger rotors. There are 18-inch or optional 20-inch wheels available too.

    BMW also included a data and video recorder to be used on the race track. Plug a stick into the OBD port and it'll record everything you might want for post-racing analysis. There's no pricing for this M Performance package yet, but the new 3 Series goes on sale in March 2019.

  • How to bleed your brakes | Autoblog Wrenched
    In 10,000 miles of driving, you hit your brakes an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 times. Yet, brake fluid is widely considered the most overlooked fluid in your vehicle despite being vital to your safety. Replacing your brake fluid is a simple procedure you can do yourself. Here are the tools you'll need. Brake fluid, specific to your vehicle, brake bleed pump, catch bottle, gloves, rags, and safety glasses. I'm Larry Kosilla, pro detailer and trainer for the last fifteen years, but when it comes to what's under the hood, I'm the student. Follow me as experts teach me how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars on Autoblog Wrenched.

    How often should brake fluid be changed?

    It depends on the type of vehicle you drive, how you drive, and the climate is a really big factor on your brake fluid. - There are different types of brake fluid with different boiling points, so be sure to replace the old fluid with the same grade. Check your Owner's Manual for more information specific to your vehicle. In our case, we're using DOT 4, easily found at any auto parts store.

    Two ways to bleed brakes

    As I've come to learn, there are two main types of brake bleeding techniques. The two person method, known as "pedal bleeding," is when one person is pumping the brakes, and the other is bleeding the brake lines at the same time. But today, I will learn the faster and easier one person method known as "pressure bleeding." The goal when bleeding brake lines is to squeeze or push out the old fluid without allowing any air back into the system. If air does enter the system it can be a big problem.

    How brakes work and why bleeding brakes makes a difference

    Brakes are hydraulic, meaning when you step on the brake pedal, brake fluid which isn't easily compressed under this pressure, transfers the force of the pedal through the brake lines, to the calipers, which squeeze the rotors and stop the car. If air enters the system, either through a bad brake leak process or leaky brake lines, then the force of the pedal compresses air and not the fluid. That's why brakes can feel squishy sometimes and not stop as well as they should.

    How to get started

    Before opening the brake fluid cap, clean the surrounding area to avoid any dirt accidentally entering the system. Keep in mind that brake fluid will destroy paint on contact, so wear gloves, eye protection, and of course, cover the paint and avoid any drips. Now, unscrew the cap and use a turkey baster to remove the majority of the old fluid from the master cylinder. Do not remove all of the fluid. Leaving some fluid in the master cylinder will help prevent air bubbles from getting into the system.

    Next, use a tool called a power bleeder, this tool uses pressurized brake fluid to force air and the old fluid out of your brake lines. Just pour in your designated brake fluid to the pressure tank, attach the screw cap to the brake reservoir, and pressurize the system with the hand pump to about 15 pounds on the gauge. With the brake system pressurized, it's now time to move to a corner of the vehicle furthest away from the master cylinder. Attach the brake bleed catch bottle to the caliper lead valve, located on or near the caliper.

    Now you always start with the caliper furthest away from the master cylinder. In our case, it's the passenger side rear. Makeshift bottles can be created at home, but for ten to twelve dollars online, these bottle are airtight, have a magnet, and a safety line which is well worth the price. Depending on the style of wrench you're using it may need to be in place before connecting the hose. With the hose firmly attached, open the bleeder valve until you see the old brake fluid being pushed out of the system and into your catch bottle.

    Watch for clear fluid and air, and repeat

    Watch the brake fluid turn from on old brownish color, to a new or clearer color, indicating the line is full of new fluid. Then, close the valve, no need to over-tighten here, just snug. Make sure to check your power bleeder has enough pressure and brake fluid to continue. You'll most likely need to give it a few pumps to add more pressure up to the 15 pounds. Be sure to check your power bleeder after each corner, you want to avoid running out of brake fluid during the bleed as this will inadvertently add air to your system. Repeat this process on the driver's side rear, then the passenger side front, and finally the driver's side front closest to the master cylinder, in that order. Keep in mind that some high performance calipers have more than one bleeder valve attached, so contact the manufacturer for the recommended bleeding sequence or suggested tips. When you've done all four corners, test your pedal to make sure it feels firm before driving.

    If not, repeat the process until a solid pedal returns. Then, slowly release the pressure from the power bleeder, then unscrew the bleeder cap, top of the master cylinder reservoir with brake fluid and replace the cap. And remember, brake fluid contains polyethylene glycol, which is found in some paint solvents and it is extremely corrosive. Be sure to remove your gloves before getting in the car or touching the paint as you may have some old brake fluid left on them which would turn a quick brake flush, possibly into a full repaint. With the project done, we have all the used fluid that now needs to be disposed of. Make sure you do it properly. Check your local auto parts store to see if they recycle, or if they can direct you to a local collection facility. For more how-to car repair videos, visit I'm Larry Kosillo from, as always, thanks for watching.

  • Why Do My Brakes Squeal?


    Dear Tom,

    Every time I hit the brake pedal, my brakes make this awful high-pitched squeal. When I stop at a light I get stares from people. It's embarrassing! I just had the brakes done last month, so why are they squealing? Help! Melissa from Manhasset, NY

    Take your car back to the shop, Melissa. Sounds to me like the pad insulators, anti-rattle clips or calipers are loose. The squeal you hear is the result of vibration of the brake pads. I would not expect to be charged, as this should be covered under the brake job warranty.

    Melissa brings up a popular topic that needs to be addressed. Brake squeal is common and can be caused by a number of conditions: Worn pads, glazed pads and rotors, broken anti-rattle clips, lack of pad insulation or insulation shims, and incorrect rotor surface cut or no surface cut at all. Let's take a closer look.

    Worn Pads
    A brake pad is comprised of steel backing with friction material attached to it. Application of the brakes produces hydraulic pressure that causes the brake pads (via brake calipers) to clamp down on the rotors (discs) creating friction. It is the friction of the pads against the rotors that slows and stops the vehicle. When the friction material on the pads wears down, it is time to change the pads. Some pads are equipped with a wear indicator, which is a small spring steel clip. When a pad is worn, this clip makes contact with the rotor and generates a high-pitched squeal, telling you that it is time to service the brakes. If the pad does not have a wear indicator, when the pad has worn down to the steel backing it will grind into the rotor and need to be replaced. In this scenario, the rotor may have to be replaced as well, depending on how badly it was affected.

    (use our Repair Estimator to find out how much any repair should cost you)

    Glazed Pads and Rotors
    Brake squeal can also occur when brake calipers stick and the brake stays partially applied. When this happens the pad is in constant contact with the rotor, producing excessive friction and heat. Overheated pads harden and crystallize. This glazing occurs on the rotors as well. The squealing sound is a result of these super-hardened surfaces coming in contact with one another. Remember, it is the friction created by the brake pad against the rotor that stops a vehicle. When crystallization of pad and rotor occurs, there is much less friction. This results in diminished braking power and squealing brakes. At this point the pads must be replaced and the rotors resurfaced or replaced.

    Broken Anti-Rattle Clips
    The brake pad is loosely held in place on the caliper by pad stays. An additional part – called an anti-rattle clip – is used to secure the pad so that it will not vibrate or rattle when the brake is applied. If anti-rattle clips are worn or broken, pad vibration will cause squealing. In this case, the clips must be replaced.

    Lack of Pad Insulation or Insulation Shims
    When a car comes from the factory, insulation shims are placed against the steel backing of the pad to insulate it from the brake caliper. This is necessary to prevent brake squeal. These shims eventually wear out or they are discarded when a brake job is performed. When the pads are replaced, either the shims must be replaced or silicone insulation gel must be applied to prevent squeal. If you had your front brakes replaced recently and they're squealing, take it back to the shop and make sure the shims were installed or gel was used.

    Incorrect Rotor Surface Cut or No Surface Cut at All
    When a brake job is performed, the rotors must be resurfaced to remove any glazing and return the surface to "true." First the rotor is machined to remove grooves and/or imperfection on the rotor surface. Once the rotor face is 'true', a slow, non-directional finish is applied to the rotor face to ensure proper break-in of the pads. This process also insures that the pads don't ride up on the face of the rotor when braking. Riding up of the pads can cause a clicking noise, the breaking of anti-rattle clips, or caliper pin wear. If the rotor is found to be too thin according to state inspection rules, it is discarded and replaced. It is important to note that if your pads were replaced without resurfacing the rotors, then squealing and pedal pulsation will probably occur.

  • FCA recalls 210,000 new Jeeps and Dodges due to a brake issue

    FCA is recalling some 210,000 vehicles in the U.S. and elsewhere over a possible braking issue. On this occasion, the recall is made less complicated by the fact that about one-third of the affected vehicles are so new, they still reside on dealer lots, making them easy to tally up and put right.

    The recall concerns 2018 Dodge Journeys, 2019 Jeep Cherokees and 2018-2019 Dodge Grand Caravans and 2018-2019 Jeep Compasses. Most were built in spring 2018, and the recall is related to a brake system component that failed to meet FCA specifications. Further information available on the NHTSA website details the issue, saying that insufficiently coated rear brake caliper pistons may cause gas pockets to form in the brake fluid of very new vehicles.

    This in turn can reduce rear brake performance — bubbles in brake lines are not desirable. FCA underlines that the brakes still function, but stopping distance can be affected. As a remedy, the brake systems are inspected and re-bled. The recall is slated to begin on Sept. 28.

    In addition to 154,337 vehicles in the United States, the recall concerns 19,066 units in Canada, some 900 in Mexico and some 35,500 vehicles on other markets.

  • How To Change Drum Brakes | Autoblog Wrenched

    The brakes on your car are one thing you don't want to put off fixing. Luckily, with a little help from Larry Kosilla, you can do it yourself.

    Watch all of our Autoblog Wrenched videos for more tips on how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars from professional detailer Larry Kosilla. While you're at it, check out Larry's other car cleaning and maintenance video series Autoblog Details!

    Materials Used:

    [00:00:00] [Larry] Drum brakes were the first generation of braking systems in vehicles from the early 1900s all the way up to the 1980s and 90s. Most older vehicles still on the road today only have drum brakes on the rear of the car. Here are the tools you'll need to do it yourself. Drum replacement hardware kit, shoes, pliers, screwdriver, Spring set, wire brush, needlenose pliers, protective eyewear, and of course, brake clean. I'm Larry Kosilla, pro detailer and trainer for the last 15 years.

    [00:00:30] But when it comes to what's under the hood, I'm the student. Follow me as experts teach me how to diagnose, fix, and modify cars on Autoblog's Wrenched. - Alright, so what's the difference between disc brakes and these here, drum brakes. - Well the disc brake actually has two brake pads that squeeze together hydraulically through a caliper and create the friction to slow the car down. - Okay. - A drum brake has two shoes which sit with springs on the inside of this drum, and through a wheel cylinder, hydraulically expand and cause the friction

    [00:01:00] on the inside of this drum. - [Larry] So a caliper squeezes, and a drum kind of pushes out. - [Spencer] Exactly. - [Larry] Okay. Alright well I've done disc brakes before and those went pretty well. Is this the same kind of idea? - Once I show ya how, you'll be able to do it. - [Larry] It's important to understand that this is a complicated job that has many different set-ups unique to each respective vehicle, so keep in mind, your specific drum brakes may not exactly resemble the ones show here, and you might need more information or tools

    [00:01:30] specific to your car to do the job properly. Remember, our goal with this video is to give you an idea of what's involved in these types of projects should you choose to replace the brakes yourself. If you're uncomfortable, simply hire a professional mechanic. First, we remove the drum with two bolts that, once screwed in evenly, will slowly push the drum away from brake assembly. Otherwise, a few hits with a sledgehammer on each side will help dislodge the rusty drum, revealing the pads underneath. For novices like myself,

    [00:02:00] Spencer suggested I take a cell phone picture of the brake assembly after I pull the drum off and especially before I start pulling the shoes apart. This is essentially disassembling and then reassembling a big jigsaw puzzle, so a picture is worth a thousand words to a novice. There are a lot of special tools that make your life easy when removing drum brakes, but most can be done with your standard needlenose pliers. Begin by removing the top return spring with needlenose, or the special spring pliers found at any auto store.

    [00:02:30] This spring is used to pull the brake shoes away from the drum when the brake pedal is released. Next remove the spring and pin that holds the brake shoe to the backing plate by compressing the small spring and twisting to unlock the pin holding it in place. Then remove the lower spring, and the star wheel adjuster. One side should be removed at this point, and each piece continually placed on the floor or bench in the exact position it was removed to help you reassemble.

    [00:03:00] Now remove the other shoe's spring and pin holding it to the backing plate to allow you the flexibility to remove the emergency brake cable, which can be tricky at times. The emergency brake assembly is typically attached to only one side of the brake shoe. Sometimes the front shoe, or sometimes the rear shoe, depending on the particular car. Either way, you'll most likely need to reuse this hardware, so be extra careful when disassembling these components. We'll come back to this shortly, but let's take a closer look at the parts. Notice the shoe closest to the front of the vehicle

    [00:03:30] is shorter in length than the shoe closest to the rear. That's why it can be helpful to only do one brake job at a time, and always compare the old shoe with the new shoe to make sure they are the right part before you go any further. Continue to pull out all the new parts from the auto store and lay them out in order and do a quick inventory. Once all the parts have been accounted for, clean the old parts that you'll be reusing with brake clean, including the new drum, which comes from the factory with a thin protective coating for shipping

    [00:04:00] that should be removed with brake clean prior to installing. Use a wire brush to clean up the brake shoe's contact points with the backing plate. There are typically three spots on each side. Here, here, and here. Once brushed clean, add a light dab of high temp grease to each spot. Now swap out the old parts with the new replacement parts on your bench diagram, and double-check you have all the pieces in your kit. Reinstall the old emergency brake arm on the new shoe, but be very sure it's the proper length shoe.

    [00:04:30] Keep referring back to your picture to double-check what else needs to be added to the new shoe for your particular drum brake set-up. Reinstall the emergency brake spring to the holder and secure the clip. Reattach the e-brake cable, and slide the pin from the back side through the backing plate and the shoe, and compress and twist the spring over the pin until it catches. This spring and pin is what holds the shoe in place.

    [00:05:00] Now, reinstall the star wheel adjuster, but make sure it's clean, then lubricate it, so it moves in and out freely. The adjuster threads are showing, or in other words, have been extended due to the wear on the old shoe. However, because we're replacing with new or thicker shoes, we have to thread back the star wheel to reset for the new shoes, and to allow the drum to fit over them without touching. Next, focus on the lower spring and top spring, then install the spring and pin like we did on the other shoe.

    [00:05:30] Before we put the drum back on, quickly wire brush the hub face and add a light dab of high temp grease to ensure the drum lays flat and doesn't wobble in the future. Afterwards, Spencer has me tap the shoes to make sure everything is connected and centered in order for the drum to sit properly. Now install the new drum and hand-tighten a few bolts to have it full seated. We'll retorque the bolts properly when we reattach the wheel.

    [00:06:00] Spin the drum to get a feel for how loose or tight the star wheel adjuster might be. At this point, it's normal or okay to have the drum spin freely. However, a brake adjustment must be done with a screwdriver or a brake adjustment tool that fits in a small hole in the back side of the brake assembly. The goal here is to spin the star wheel until the shoe is extended enough to have the drum spin, but has a bit of drag when it's doing it. When you're all set, put the wheel back on and be sure to torque them to your manufacturer's suggested foot-pounds.

    [00:06:30] As I'm sure you've noticed by now, replacing your brake shoes and hardware is no simple task. Each brake assembly may be slightly different from the one shown here, but use this video as a reference if you choose to take on this project. If you're uncomfortable, seek a professional mechanic. For more how-to car repairvideos, visit I'm Larry Kosilla from As always, thanks for watching.
  • 2013 Lincoln MKS evolves new nose, bigger brakes

    Think about the position that Cadillac was in over a decade ago; that's about where Lincoln is today. The rebirth of a brand doesn't happen overnight, so until Lincoln debuts its next generation of fully redesigned and reimagined products, subtle evolution and continued refinement are the order du jour. Hence the 2013 Lincoln MKS.

    The greenhouse of Lincoln's flagship sedan carries over unchanged, but the front and rear fascias, fenders, hood, HID headlights and LED taillamps are all new and punctuated by the reworked grille. That last bit is far and away the most radical change, making the 2013 MKS come off as less baleen and slightly more elegant.

    Stuffed behind the standard 19-inch aluminum wheels (or optional 20s) is all new braking hardware to address one of the MKS' most glaring dynamic faults, with the front discs upsized to 13.86-inches – more than an inch larger than the outgoing stoppers – and 13.58-inch rotors in the rear. More impressive is the standard fitment of Continuously Controlled Damping (CCD), which monitors and adjusts the suspension up to 500 times a second to balance handling and comfort. CCD works in conjuction with a torque vectoring differential and the new Lincoln Drive Control, which modifies ride, throttle, shifting, steering and traction control on the fly when changing the system from Comfort to Sport mode.

    The powertrains are also largely carry-overs, with the standard 3.7-liter V6 getting a boost in horsepower from 274 to an even 300, all while returning 19 mpg in the city and 28 on the highway in FWD spec. The 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 – standard with AWD – outputs 355 hp and 350 lb-ft of torque and is projected to return fuel economy ratings of 17/25.

    On the tech front, the MKS comes equipped with the recently reworked MyLincoln Touch system, with standard Operator Assist, WiFi hotspot functionality and a tweaked UI to match the updated interior. Also included for 2013 is the new Lane Keeping System and Lane Keeping Aid, which alerts the driver if he or she is drifiting out of a lane and applies a small amount of torque to the wheel to bring things back in line.

    We'll have full impressions of the MKS from the floor of the LA Auto Show later today, but in the meantime, get all the details in the press release below the fold.

  • 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition gets retro stripes, better brakes, better shocks

    Between the Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ sports car twins, the Subaru version has received a bit more in the way of factory performance love. First it got a performance package with Sachs shocks and Brembo brakes. Then it got a special tS trim with those bits plus more chassis bracing and some extreme aero parts. Now Toyota has a special edition model to rival the BRZ performance package: the 2019 Toyota 86 TRD Special Edition.

    It is important to note that, no, this special package does not add any additional power. It still makes the same 205 horsepower and 156 pound-feet of torque. Performance-wise, the TRD Special Edition is very much like the aforementioned BRZ. It comes with Sachs shocks and Brembo brakes. While Toyota hasn't yet announced whether the suspension tuning is the same as the BRZ, the brakes are the same size and have the same four-piston calipers up front and two-piston calipers in the rear.

    Where the TRD Special Edition adds a little more than the equivalent BRZ is in style. The 86 gets a complete body kit with redesigned front lip, side skirts, rear diffuser, rear spoiler, brushed stainless steel exhaust tips and unique 18-inch wheels (one inch larger than the BRZ's). Those wheels are shod in Michelin Pilot Sport 4 tires. TRD logos dot the exterior, and the sides get some seriously rad retro red-orange-yellow TRD stripes. Inside, the interior is all black and red, with extra faux suede and an embroidered TRD logo on the dash.

    The 86 TRD will command a higher price than the regular models. The MSRP is $32,420, and with the $920 destination charge, it comes to $33,340. That makes it the most expensive version of the 86. It will come with some added exclusivity, since Toyota is only selling 1,418 examples. But if you can do without the added style and exclusivity, you can have a BRZ with the performance package for $30,500.

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  • 2020 BMW X6 M spied with bigger everything

    We got a pretty good look at the new, 2020 BMW X6 recently, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that its hopped-up alter ego, the X6 Mhas been out testing, too. One of our spy photographers caught one out on the town, and it looks very much like the regular model. But there are a number of telltale signs that reveal this is the fast one.

    Among the signs is this X6 M's fat footwear. It has incredibly wide tires on really big wheels. They're housed inside much wider fender flares than what the regular X6 has. Behind those wheels are equally enormous brakes. Besides being huge, the rotors are drilled. Up front are large, blue-painted calipers. Since the current model uses six-piston front calipers, these are probably six-piston units, too.

    At the front and rear are other signs this is the mighty X6 M. The lower grilles on this look larger and more menacing than on the regular model. The same goes for the rear exhaust tips. The tips aren't integrated with the rear bumper, either. They're now two pairs of big circular holes.

    As with the regular X6, we expect the M model will be shown sometime next year in time for the 2020 model year. Under the hood will probably be a version of BMW's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 making more than the current model's 567 horsepower. It wouldn't be a surprise if it made 600 horsepower, as it does in the current M5.

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Cross Drilled Rotors