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Your brakes are clearly your motor’s most vital safety feature. Today’s complex systems incorporate a disc for each wheel, with a calliper containing two brake pads or shoes, which have a lining to increase friction across the drum or disc. As you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid squeezes the brake pad friction material against the rotating disc’s surface, creating the friction needed to slow down or stop.
Brake pads are key to any braking system, absorbing some of the greatest forces involved in daily driving. But, like anything else, they won’t last forever. Eventually, their abrasive surface wears down and they need replacing, ideally while they still have around 25% capacity.
You shouldn’t replace brake pads yourself without extensive mechanical knowledge, given the potential dangers of system failure. Equally, a mechanic may well spot other issues, and catching these early will save you money.
Given that they take most of the load, front brake pads will probably need replacing first. But it’s generally a good idea to replace both sets (front and rear) at the same time, for even braking.
Some brake pads may last for more than 70,000 miles, but it’s more likely yours will last somewhere between 25,000 and 60,000. Where you drive, mileage, weight carried and type of pads used will all affect this.
Going too long without replacing yours can damage other components, since the pads protect other, more expensive parts including the discs or rotors. Many vehicle dashboards flash warning lights when pads need replacing. If your motor pulls to one side, or there are strange screeching sounds, or the pedal vibrates, it’s time to change yours.
Equally, you can often do some visual checks yourself. Look up from the ground directly at where the pad meets the disc. Anything with a thickness of less than 3.175mm needs replacing.
MOTs check braking systems extensively. A car can fail this test for numerous brake-related reasons, including worn pads – another reason why proper preventative maintenance is so important.
One of our thoroughly vetted partner garages across the UK can undertake a full assessment, probably as part of an MOT or servicing. We offer a door-to-service, a year-long warranty on parts and labour, and upfront, fair pricing. Pop in your registration details to receive a quote for new brake pads today.
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