Front brake pad replacement
How do front brake pads work?
Brake pads are a key component of any vehicle’s braking system. They’re flat parts made of semi-metallic, organic or ceramic materials, with a metal backing. When you use your brakes, the pads hydraulically squeeze the brake discs, slowing your car down through friction and pressure. The pads absorb some of the biggest forces involved in daily driving.
Most cars have two pads per brake disc, although some high-performance models can have more.
How often should front brake pads need replacing?
As a rough guide, your brake pads should last for 50,000 miles, but there are a number of variables, including driver behaviour, the weight you carry, speed and the type of pads used. Not to mention that nearly 20% of MOT failures are caused by faulty brakes.
The law, vehicle regulations and your MOT
Incorrect brake operation, damaged or excessively worn discs or pads are considered unsafe for your vehicle performance and will cause your car to fail an MOT.
The cost of replacing front brake pads
The typical cost of replacing front brake pads is around £100.
For example, a BMW 116d M Sport would have a dealer price of £133.13, yet Fixter will carry out the same work for only £107.10—a 20% saving!
Changing the rear brake pads on a Fiat 500 C Lounge will cost you £120.59 with your dealer, but only £99.17 with Fixter—a superb saving of 18%!
When you choose Fixter to find you a great deal and a premium mechanic to carry out your rear brake pad replacement, you can expect to save around £20–£25 from an average dealer price. That’s a typical saving in the region of 15–20%.
What causes your brake pads to stop working correctly?
While your brake pads will keep you safe over thousands of miles, they won’t last forever. Eventually, the abrasive surface on them wears down, and they will need to be replaced, ideally while you still have around 25% capacity of the pads left.
Given that they take most of the load, front brake pads will probably need replacing first. They also have a bigger surface area to increase friction.
To make your brake pads last longer:
- Try avoiding driving at high speeds so that you’re less likely to need to brake quickly and heavily, which puts extra pressure on the pads.
- Anticipate traffic and hazards ahead so you can brake steadily and gradually.
- Heavy loads also put stress on brake pads – don’t carry unnecessary weight.
Symptoms of malfunctioning brakes
Your brake callipers make unusual noises
A loud screeching or grinding noise when you apply the brakes is a clear indicator that new pads are required.
When your car pulls to one side under braking
If only one brake is working correctly, it can cause your car to pull in the direction of the functioning brake.
The car vibrates under braking
Your brake pads could be warped if the pedal vibrates when you press down on it.
The brake pad is worn down
Look through the wheel’s spokes for a visual check—the outside pad is pressed against a metal rotor, and you should be able to see at least 3mm of the pad.
Your brake warning light on the dashboard is illuminated
If any of your dashboard warning lights are illuminated, the sensor that detects problems or worn out parts and components has detected an issue and activated the system.
Fiat Automobiles is the largest car manufacturer in Italy, originally established over 100 years ago in July 1899, and is a subsidiary of FCA Italy (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).
How popular is Fiat in the United Kingdom?
There are around 890k Fiat cars on the road in the UK. Their popularity as a modern car supplier grew through the 1990s and peaked around the current number in the mid-2000s, where it has remained constant over the past 10 years.
As a long established and easily recognised brand, a large part of their success can be put down to their historical models and retro styling.
Attractively priced fun and funky cars
Fiat is renowned for providing unique styling associated with Italian car design, yet without the hefty sports car price tag.
The Fiat 500 is possibly one of the most easily recognised cars in the world and a true piece of iconic car culture. Despite looking virtually the same as it did at its introduction in 1957, the latest model featured over 1,800 updates to its previous version, making sure it stands its ground in a modern car buyer’s market.
Colourful cars for colourful people
When you visit Fiat’s website, you’ll be presented with bright, punchy colours and slogans, suggesting a younger feel and a driving culture based around a carefree life in the now. Riding the on-going success of the 500 and their strength in the city car market, Fiat has added the 500L and 500X to their current range; mini SUV and MPV offerings that build on the styling and popularity of the 500. And why wouldn’t they? It’s a smart way to break into new markets with a trusted and recognisable brand.
Fiat’s reliability and reputation
Fiat ranked 14th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. They are a well-established manufacturer who carries a reputation for style and keeping up with current trends, but under the watchful eye of a parent company who also owns Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Jeep and Maserati, their experience and wealth of industry knowledge is greater than first appears.
Recent Fiat recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Fiat models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
26/04/2019 – Fiat Talento (2018)
The handbrake efficiency could be lost
12/04/2019 – Fiat Panda (2016–2018)
The steering column adjustment could release
07/09/2018 – Fiat 500X (2015–2018)
If rear seat belts are not fastened and pretensioners are deployed the latch could be released
24/08/2018 – Fiat Panda (2018)
Engine suspension reaction bracket not fitted on the transmission side
30/04/2018 – Fiat Fullback (2016–2017)
Door locks may malfunction and allow doors to open unintentionally
16/03/2018 – Fiat Ducato (2016–2017)
Intercooler sleeve may detach from the throttle body
02/03/2018 – Fiat 500 (2017)
Instrument cluster may display incorrect information
19/12/2017 – Fiat 500 (2017)
Replace electrical power steering
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.