Brake pads are an essential component of your car’s braking system, and they play a crucial role in keeping you safe on the road. Worn-out brake pads can cause your car to skid or slide, and they can even cause accidents. That’s why it’s important to keep an eye on your brake pads and replace them when necessary.
But how long to change brake pads?
It is generally recommended that you change your brake pads every 25,000 to 65,000 miles. However, this number will vary depending on the type of vehicle you drive and how often you use your brakes. If you do a lot of city driving or drive in stop-and-go traffic, you may need to replace your brake pads more frequently. You should also have your brakes inspected regularly to ensure they are in good working condition.
Disc Brakes vs. Drum Brakes
Disc brakes use calipers to force two pads against a disc which in turn creates friction that slows the rotation of a wheel, which can eventually bring a vehicle to a stop. Disc brakes are the most common type of brake used on modern cars and trucks. These brakes have many advantages over older drum brakes, including better stopping power, less fade during repeated heavy braking, and reduced susceptibility to “brake squeak”. Some newer vehicles even have discs at all four wheels for optimal performance.
A drum brake consists of a metal drum that houses a set of shoes that press against the drum to create friction. When the driver steps on the brake pedal, the shoes are forced outwards against the drum, slowing or stopping the vehicle. They are don’t often overheat like in the case with disc brakes, making them ideal for heavy-duty use. Additionally, drum brakes are cheaper to manufacture than disc brakes, so they are often used on budget-priced vehicles. However, drum brakes tend to wear out faster than disc brakes and are not as effective in wet or icy conditions.
How long should brake pads last
The true answer to the question of how long brake pads should last varies from car to car and driver to driver. If you routinely drive in urban centers or highly congested places, for instance, you will use your brakes far more often than someone who travels in rural areas or on highways.
Some people also have a tendency to “ride the brake,” which means they push and depress the brakes more frequently than other drivers, resulting in accelerated brake pad wear.
It is often believed that brake shoes and pads are good for between 30,000 and 35,000 miles of city driving. In less demanding scenarios, such as highway travel with little traffic, brakes can last up to 80,000 miles.
Knowing when to change the brake pads on your car may be simple with a little attention and foresight.
Factors that Affect Brake Pads Life Span?
Brake pads are a crucial component of your car’s braking system, and as such, their lifespan can have a significant impact on your safety on the road. There are a number of factors that can affect how long your brake pads will last, including:
The type of brake pad you choose: There are two main types of brake pad – organic and metallic. Organic brake pads tend to be softer and quieter, but wear out more quickly than metallic pads. Metallic pads are harder wearing but can be noisier and more aggressive on your brakes.
Transmission: If you have the suitable gearbox, you might possibly extend the life of your brake pads. When slowing down, manual transmission vehicle owners do not have to rely solely on brake pads. Engine braking enables them to decelerate by changing to low gears, as opposed to using the brakes and burning out the brake pads.
Note: If you own a vehicle with an automatic transmission, it is not recommended to use engine braking since you may end up destroying the transmission system.
Your driving habits: If you regularly drive in stop-start traffic or make a lot of short journeys, your brake pads will wear out more quickly than if you mainly drive on the open road.
The condition of your brakes: If your brakes are in poor condition, it can cause your pads to wear out more quickly. Make sure you have them regularly checked and serviced to keep them in good working order.
The weight of your vehicle: Heavier vehicles put more strain on their brakes, so their brake pads will usually need to be replaced more often than those on lighter cars.
How you brake: Sudden or hard braking will cause your brake pads to wear out more quickly than gentle, gradual braking.
How to Change Brake Pads
If your brake pads are starting to wear down, it’s important to change them as soon as possible. If you wait too long, the pads can wear down to the point where they start damaging the rotors. This can cause expensive repairs and may even lead to a complete failure of the braking system.
Changing brake pads is relatively simple and can be done at home with just a few tools. You’ll need a jack and jack stands, a wrench or socket set, and a new set of brake pads. Make sure you buy the right size pads for your vehicle.
- Jack up your vehicle and remove the wheel. Be careful not to damage the brake line when removing the wheel.
- Use the wrench or socket set to remove the two bolts holding the caliper in place.
- Pull the caliper off of the rotor. You may need to use a pry bar to get it started.
- Remove the old brake pads and insert the new ones. Make sure they’re properly seated and aligned.
- Reattach the caliper and bolt it in place.
- Repeat these steps for the other wheels.
- Lower your vehicle back down to the ground and test the brakes to make sure they’re working properly. If everything feels normal, you’re all done!
If you don’t feel comfortable changing your own brake pads, or if you’re unsure of how to do it properly, it’s always best to take your vehicle to a professional mechanic. They can change the pads and check for any other potential problems with your brakes.
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Signs That You Need To Replace Your Brake Pads
If your brake pads are worn down, you may notice a few different signs. For example, you may hear a squealing noise when you press on the brakes. This is because the metal backing plate that rubs against the rotor to create friction is now exposed and causing the noise.
You may also feel vibration in the brake pedal or steering wheel when you brake. This is caused by uneven wear on the brake pads, which can cause pulsing in the brakes. If you ignore these signs and don’t replace your brake pads, you’ll eventually start to experience more serious problems.
For example, you may notice that it takes longer for your car to stop, or that your brakes are completely unresponsive. These are signs that you’ve worn through the brake pads and are now damaging the rotors. If you continue to drive without replacing the brake pads, you’ll eventually need to replace the rotors as well.
Your brakes are making squealing or grinding noises.
- Your brake pedal feels softer than usual or takes longer to stop the car.
- You notice that your car is taking longer to stop than it used to.
- Your brakes are leaving black marks on your wheels after you use them.
If you’re experiencing any of these problems, it’s time to replace your brake pads. Be sure to check your owner’s manual for specific instructions on how to do this, or take your car to a qualified mechanic.
How To Make Your Brake Pads Last Longer
Your car brake pads are an essential component of your car’s braking system, and they play a vital role in keeping you safe on the road. However, brake pads can wear out over time, and when they do, it’s important to know how to replace them. Here are some tips on how to make them last longer.
Inspect the brake pads regularly
One of the best ways to prolong the life of your brake pads is to have them check regularly. You should check your brakes at least once a month to ensure that they’re in good condition. Look for signs of wear, like thinning or cracks in the pad material. If you see any signs of damage, it’s important to replace the pads as soon as possible.
Avoid hard braking
One of the main causes of premature brake pad wear is hard braking. Whenever you brake hard, it puts extra stress on the pads and can cause them to wear out more quickly. To avoid this, try to brake gently whenever possible. If you do need to brake hard, do it in a controlled manner so that you don’t damage the pads.
Use the right type of pad
There are different types of brake pads available, and using the wrong type can shorten their lifespan. Make sure to use the correct type of pad for your car’s make and model. You can usually find this information in your owner’s manual or from a qualified mechanic.
Keep your wheels clean
Another way to extend the life of your brake pads is to keep your wheels clean. Brake dust can build up on the surface of your wheels and cause the pads to wear out more quickly. To avoid this, make sure to clean your wheels on a regular basis. You can use a wheel cleaner and a soft cloth to remove the brake dust.
Avoid driving in wet conditions
Driving in wet conditions can also cause your brake pads to wear out more quickly. When you drive in the rain or snow, the water can get into the pad material and cause it to break down. To avoid this, try to avoid driving in wet conditions whenever possible. If you do have to drive in the rain or snow, make sure to take it easy on the brakes.
Hi I’m Marshall based in 1478 Doctors Drive Santa Monica, CA. I’m your DIY Car Repairman with more than 5 years experience in automobile repair, a skill I learned from my old man.
I started this blog to share my experience on both simple and technical aspects of your car.