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.
The Suzuki Motor Corporation is a Japanese multinational automotive and motorcycle manufacturer, established in 1909, over 100 years ago.
How popular is Suzuki in the United Kingdom?
Possibly better known as a leading motorcycle manufacturer, the cars from this marque are becoming a well-known household name in UK motoring. The Suzuki Swift and Suzuki Vitara have made a real impact on UK drivers, being responsible for over half of the 408k Suzuki models on the roads today.
Good value small city cars and SUV driving
Suzuki’s success has been dependent on their provision of small, well-priced cars that offer excellent value and good fuel economy. They offer a selection of city cars and small hatchbacks, with added hybrid fuel options for green drivers and those who want further economy from their motoring.
It’s possibly the Vitara, Ignis and the SX4 S-Cross SUV and crossover models that are making the most impact for this brand, despite not achieving quite the same impressive sales figures as the Swift.
Suzuki provides great technology for budget brand cars
For cars at their price-point, Suzuki crams in a lot of tech. The Vitara, for example, comes with Suzuki’s Boosterjet turbocharged engine and Allgrip 4-wheel drive system for performance, and a host of additional technology for drivability.
It also incorporates driver assistance features such as a lane departure warning that includes visual signals and a vibrating steering wheel, cruise control and fully integrated smartphone connectivity—features you’d tend to expect to find on much higher priced vehicles.
The Suzuki SHVS hybrid system
In the current climate where ecology and green motoring has become prevalent, the ‘Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki’ advanced driving system reduces CO2 emissions and lowers your running costs. What Suzuki has done here, is create a lighter and smaller system than the standard hybrid arrangement. Combine that with their cars’ lightweight chassis and nimble performance, and the efficiency becomes even more impressive.
Suzuki’s reliability and reputation
Suzuki came top of the pile out of the 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Followed closely by Lexus and Toyota, it was the Japanese and Asian marques that proved to be the most reliable vehicles being driven in the UK.
Recent Suzuki recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Suzuki models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
30/11/2018 – Suzuki Swift (2013–2015)
Due to the engine vibrations, the brake lines and the support on which the motor is mounted may come into contact
01/06/2018 – Suzuki Celerio (2018)
The front seat’s side airbag webbing bracket may be defective
30/03/2018 – Suzuki Ignis, Suzuki Swift and Suzuki Baleno (2015–2016)
The engine auto stop-start system might become inoperative
04/01/2017 – Suzuki Jimny (2014–2015)
Resin fragments inside the brake hydraulic control unit might get stuck in the hydraulic control valve
23/09/2016 – Suzuki Jimny (2013–2014)
The brake booster does not work adequately, and thus the brake pedal operation can be harder
19/03/2016 – Suzuki Swift (2013–2015)
The adhesive force of the double-sided tapes which fix the front seat heater to the seat may deteriorate
29/07/2016 – Suzuki Swift/Swift Sport (2014–2015)
A defect in the rear wheel brake may cause a sudden decrease of brake force
10/06/2016 – Suzuki SX4 S-Cross (2013–2016)
The seams of the front seat back covers may have been sewn incorrectly in the area of the side airbag.
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.