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.
Seat S.A. is a Spanish automobile manufacturer, founded over 65 years ago in 1950.
In 1986, the German Volkswagen Group bought Seat from the Spanish government to become the owner and operator of this established marque.
How popular is Seat in the United Kingdom?
Since the VW takeover, the number of Seat cars on the roads in the UK has grown steadily to over 500k.
Marketing similar cars to different markets
Although the structure and engineering behind all of the Volkswagen Group’s cars are closely related, based on very similar systems and practices, VW has aimed Seat at a market that offers something a bit different to Audi and VW.
Seat: Affordable, youthful versions of established models
Given that the brands under the VW umbrella (not forgetting Skoda too) all carry similar architecture, what sets the Seat models apart from their counterparts is their character, price-point and their ability to deliver slightly sportier handling due to their tuning. When you think of Seat, you think fun. VW: solid. Skoda: value. And Audi is for the executive.
So despite all being very similar machines under the hood, VW has created each of them to sit in quite different marketplaces. The Leon, for example, will appeal to a different type of driver to the Octavia or the Golf (and the Audi A3) despite being almost the same car. The same goes for the Ibiza, the Arona and the rest of the models in the Seat range.
Seat’s reliability and reputation
Seat ranked 10th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018.
Pitted against the other makes under the VW umbrella, it was Skoda who ranked highest in 7th place, with VW and Audi performing less admirably at 17th and 20th respectively.
Recent Seat recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Seat models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
26/04/2019 – Seat Ateca (2018)
The locking pin for securing the head restraints may be missing from the central rear seat
13/04/2019 – Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona (2016–2018)
Due to an incorrect setting, the handbrake may have to travel further to ensure immobilisation
17/02/2019 – Seat Ateca (2018)
The fitting of the headrest in the rear seat’s backrest may be defective
24/08/2018 – Seat Ibiza TGI-CNG (2018)
The nuts of the gas pipes may not be sufficiently tightened, causing a leak of gas
27/07/2018 – Seat Ibiza and Seat Arona (2018)
The seat-belt buckles may open unexpectedly
23/03/2018 – Seat Alhambra, Seat Ibiza, Seat Leon and Seat Altea (2011)
The spring on the starter relay may remain in the wrong position
04/03/2018 – Seat Alhambra (2016–2017)
The passenger airbag module may have been produced with an inadequate welded connection
04/03/2018 – Seat Leon (2014–2015)
In the event of deployment of the passenger airbag, the casing of the gas generator could be damaged
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.