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.
Volkswagen (often shortened to VW) is a German automobile manufacturer founded in 1937 by the German Labour Front, a Nazi labour union.
Volkswagen is the flagship marque of the Volkswagen Group, who in turn is majority owned by Porsche. They own and operate a vast number of cars under other brand names—at the time of writing, they have 342 subsidiary companies.
How popular is Volkswagen in the United Kingdom?
Possibly its most well-known model of the current generation, the VW Golf, was the 2nd best selling car of 2018, behind the Ford Fiesta, which consistently takes the top spot year after year.
The Golf’s 64k registrations in 2018 added to the vast tally of 3.4million Volkswagen cars on the road today.
High quality, highly rated, appropriately priced cars
VW cars achieve consistently strong reviews and are highly respected by critics and drivers alike. They are renowned for investing more money into research and development than almost any other marque and distributing their wealth of motoring knowledge across the many partner brands under the VW Group umbrella.
The Volkswagen Beetle: The ‘people’s car’
A classic of its time, originally named the Volkswagen Type 1, it soon became nicknamed the Beetle due to its unique shape, and subsequently the bug. The unique looking car was designed by Ferdinand Porsche for Adolf Hitler, who wanted a cheap and simple mass-produced car to travel around his country’s new road network.
The new model Beetle, originally launched to celebrate the original classic in 1997, and with an updated successor in 2011, was designed around the VW Jetta platform sharing much of its build with the Jetta and Golf. VW announced in 2018 that the Beetle would finally be removed from production in July 2019.
VW’s reliability and reputation
Volkswagen ranked 17th place out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018. Sister companies Skoda and Seat appeared higher up the ranks at 7th and 10th respectively, while executive brand Audi a few places further down the list at joint 20th.
Recent Volkswagen recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on VW models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
19/04/2019 – VW Tiguan (2017–2018)
The material used for the rear coil springs may be inadequate
13/04/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
The suspension damper forks are defective and could break
13/04/2019 – VW Caddy (2018)
The predetermined break point in the cushion for the side airbags in on the wrong side
24/03/2019 – VW Polo (2016–2018)
On vehicles with a rear drum brake, the operational wear of the brake lining and use-related settlement of the drum brake may result in a loss of pre-tension on parking brake cables
02/02/2019 – VW Touareg (2018)
A seat belt latch may not have been sufficiently secured to the rear, right-hand seat
23/12/2018 – VW Golf, VW T-Roc, VW Arteon and VW Passat (2018)
The fitting for the headrest may have been incorrectly welded to the backrest
23/12/2018 – VW T-Roc (2018)
An incorrect adhesive bond between the upper and lower parts of the rear spoiler may have been used
20/10/2018 – VW Touran and VW Tiguan (2015–2018)
Moisture can reach the LED module of the sunroof’s ambient lighting which may cause a short-circuit
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.