Brake Pad Replacement How Often – Guide with FAQs
A brake pad is a part of an automobile that is comprised of discs attached to the stock of the automobile. The discs are steel plates; friction material is attached to these discs’ surface that faces the brake rotors. The brake pads are present in adjustable jaws. They are an essential part of any automobile as they convert kinetic energy into thermal and produce friction which decelerates the vehicle. In simple words, the brake pad helps in stopping the vehicle, without them, you would not be able to stop the car.
What are the Symptoms of wearing brake pad?
It is quite important to maintain brake pads as without them, you would not be able to stop your car. That is why regular maintenance is necessary. Look out for any problem in the brake pads and replace them immediately. Even if there is no problem, brake pads tend to wear off very often due to fiction. Look for the following symptoms and replace the brake pads of your vehicle on time.
- Power on Brake lights
On brake lights are never to be ignored as it is an indicator of a problem. Enabled parking brakes can also light up these indicators on the dash. Fully release the brakes to ensure that it is not the case.
- Squeaking high pitched noise
This is an indication that the brake pad is worn out and must be replaced immediately.
- Feeling a grind while pressing the brake pedal
This could mean either sand or some gravel is stuck in the calipers, or the brake pad is out of lubrication. Either way, you have to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
- A fluid leakage
If the brake pedal is unusually smooth, you need to get it checked from a technician, as it might be an indication for leaking fluid that is present in the master cylinder. When the pedal is pressed, this fluid creates hydraulic pressure, and the vehicle starts to decelerate. This fluid is the reason brakes work.
- Burnt smell
If you smell something burning while driving, it can be an alert that the braking fluid is overheating, which can also lead to brake failure. If the oil starts boiling, the braking system shuts down.
Let’s talk about the Factors affecting the brake pads
To ensure that the brake pads go a long way and remain fully functional; you need to keep in mind these six factors that affect the performance of the brake pads.
- Material of the brake pads
It can be metallic, synthetic, organic, or even semi-metallic. The metallics are the least costly , but their performance might not be as good as the synthetic ones, especially ceramic.
If you are a kind of driver who used to rest the foot on the brake pedal or you drive in a a place where brakes are frequently used, the wear and tear are much more than usual so that you would need replacement accordingly. A side tip for avoiding using the brakes too much is to coast; it will give you time to decelerate as you cover the distance in between.
- Malfunctioning of the calipers
If the calipers get stuck, the brake pads start to rub against the rotor, which can substantially damage it. A simple indication for this situation is the burning smell, which is produced due to the friction between the pads and the rotor.
- Difference between automatic and manual drive
Manual cars have the engine braking i.e.; the downshift gears which slow down the car without having to apply brakes whereas, automatic cars are deprived of this feature. This is the reason why brake pads in manual cars last longer (if a smart person drives it), as compared to automatic ones.
- Worn out rotor
If the rotor is damaged and you get new brake pads, it will work fine, but the brake pads will wear off fast, and you will have to bear its expense over and over again. It will cost you way more than replacing the rotor, once which is also a costly procedure but it is a one-time expense as compared to replacing brake pads again and again.
- Brake fluid
Brake oil is an essential part of the braking system as it creates the hydraulic pressure, which helps in stopping the car. It is best to keep the fluid clean and replace it in case of any (minor) indication.
Here we have some Tips for the brake pads to last longer
On average, brake pads ought to last from almost 60,000km to 150,000km, depending, majorly on how you drive and how much you take care of your vehicle. As for replacing them, it might be a 100-$150 expense. To avoid having to pay this amount now and again, here are some tips you can use to prolong the life of your brake pads.
- Avoid over speeding
When it comes to brake pads, speed is your enemy. It increases the wear and tear, substantially; coming to rest from a sharp 105km/hr. than 85km/hr. will cause brakes to use 33% more energy. Now you know what I mean when I said speed is the enemy.
- Avoid using both feet
If you are habitual of two-footing pedals, you need to stop NOW. Pressing brake and accelerator pedal simultaneously can cause more brake taps, which do not reduce the speed, but it does damage the brake pads.
- Maintain your distance
Coasting is a great way of avoiding the use of brakes. Traveling some distance in downshifted gear will slow down your car automatically without you having to apply manual brakes. This will minimize the wear off.
- Less weight Less Damage
Try to keep your car as light as possible. Keeping unnecessarily heavy things in the car will only result in a bigger amount of kinetic energy, which the brake pads would have to convert into thermal when brakes are applied. This means the brakes will have to work harder, which will increase the wear and tear.
Below we have a list of most buying brake pads in the market but you can buy relevant brake pad for your car through the links quite easily.
List of Top 5 Brake Pads
1. Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Disc Brake Pad
Considered as one of the best brake pads for cars, they are premium quality ceramic disc brake pads that provide high braking power with minimum dust. The plates are made from an advanced aerospace alloy which meets the requirements of the Copper-Free Legislation of 2025.
2. NICHE Brake Pad Kit for Honda Pioneer 1000
These brake pads guarantee quality as well as performance. Made with semi-metallic material, these brake pads meet the performance of any factory-installed brake pads. With the ease of direct replacement, they are compatible with 2016-2019 Honda Pioneer.
3. ACDelco 14D785CH Advantage Ceramic Disc Brake Pad
These brake pads are comprised of ceramic discs made from organic material, which provides safety and consistency for several vehicles. It consists of shims, chambers, and slots, which reduce vibration, harsh braking, and diminishes braking noise. With the ease of easy fixtures, they save installation money and time.
4. Wagner Quick Stop ZD1444 Ceramic Disc Pad Set
After replacing the worn-out brake pads with these premium quality ones, you will feel a significant power restoration. They will improve the performance of the entire braking system and diminish any vibration or noise that occurs during braking with its application-specific design. They are compatible with almost all types of vehicles and include all the needed (stainless steel) hardware and lubricants.
5. EBC Brakes FA409HH Disc Brake Pad Set
These pads are made with cast aluminum with bonded brake lining. The edges are trimmed, and the finish is of excellent quality. The included brake shoe spring works just as great as the factory-installed ones.
Can you change brake pads without changing rotors?
A lot of people out there find it difficult to replace brake pads because they have to change the rotor too, which also makes the whole process twice expensive. Here is good news, you CAN replace the brake pads without having to change the rotor. The only condition is that the measurements of the rotors must be more than the minimum thickness, and they are not wrapped together. However, if you feel that the rotors require replacement, then you know what to do.
How long does a brake job take?
A braking job requires proper attention and time as a lot is to be done so that it might take around one and a half hours or maybe two. The time needed to fix a braking system also depends on its condition. Usually, the process gets longer when the rotors are resurfaced onto brake discs. If your mechanic is an expert in handling the braking system of a vehicle, it may take the only 30min for him to fix it.
When should you cover the brake?
Cover brake is a technique in which you place your foot on the brake pedal and quickly remove it from the accelerator. This helps you when you want to stop the vehicle fast. If you do it right, it can improve your response time and reflexes. You must cover brake only when you have to make the vehicle stop in a very short period. However, extra safety measures never hurt, do they?
- Cover brake when you drive by parked cars. You never know when one might pull out.
- As soon as you see the brake lights of the car in front of you, you must do it to avoid mishaps.
- Cover brake at busy intersections and before arriving at signals.
How long can you drive with bad rotors?
You can drive only a couple of miles with bad rotors, BUT you must not! When the rotors go bad, and you keep on driving, this will put extra force on the wrapped rotors, which might result in brake failure. This can not only damage the vehicle to an unrepairable state but also cause car accidents (minor to major injuries or even fatal ones).
How to replace brake pads and rotors at the same time?
Before you get to work, make sure to wear protective gloves, glasses, and mask to avoid the dust. After that follow these steps:
- Get the right equipment. If the fluid and brake pads are not compatible with each other, the replacement procedure will not go successful. You can check out the list given above to look for a good quality pair of brake pads.
- Use a jack to lift the car so you can easily access the underneath of your car. For Jacks Click Here
- Use a lug nut wrench to remove the nuts.
- Grab a C-clamp to remove the piston.
- To ensure that there is no air in the hydraulic lines, use a brake bleeder wrench.
- Keep your lubricants close by.
- With the help of an Allen Wrench set, replacing the brake pads, as well as the rotors, would be a piece of cake.
How long will 4mm brake pads last?
The life of your brake pads depends all on the use; how frequently and aggressively you press on the brake pedal. However, on average, for a 4mm brake pad, you can easily go about 50,000 miles.