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.
Volvo Cars is a Swedish luxury vehicle manufacturer, established in April 1927, over 90 years ago.
How popular is Volvo in the United Kingdom?
With around 645k cars on the roads in the UK today, Volvo is a considerable contributor to the UK motor industry.
With a steady rise in status from the boxy estate models popular in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, Volvo now produces a strong, executive range of luxury, performance vehicles.
Luxurious executive saloons, estate cars and SUVs
Sticking to the market they understand best, Volvo produces a small range of estate cars and a selection of bang-on-trend SUVs, complimented by 2 luxury saloon models. In other words, Volvo makes cars for ‘grown-up’ drivers where it knows its customers inside out.
Volvo: Exceptional aims for in-car safety
One of Volvo’s key visions is to provide a level of unrivalled safety inside their vehicles and has proven to be a dedicated leader in the field. Their current vision is that nobody should be seriously injured or killed in a new Volvo car by 2020.
Pursuing perfection through Volvo technology
The ethos behind Volvo reaches further than just selling units and making a profit. By putting their customers first, they have committed to creating vehicles where ownership gives quality time back to their drivers, are environmentally efficient and exceptionally safe.
Using modern technology and striving to develop the systems to lead the field, is something they take very seriously. After all, this is the company that brought drivers:
- The 3-point safety seatbelt
- The Lambda Sond emissions detector responsible for reducing harmful fumes by 90%
- Side impact, whiplash, and roll-over protection
- Blind spot systems
- City safety scanning
- Pedestrian detection
Volvo’s reliability and reputation
Volvo ranked joint 20th out of 30 car brands in the What Car? Reliability Survey in 2018 with an efficiency rating of 91.5%.
Recent Volvo recalls and reliability issues
Various recalls have been made on Volvo models throughout their motoring history. The following are a list of the most recent in the UK and Europe.
13/04/2019 – Volvo XC60 (2017–2018)
Due to cold temperatures the tailgate lifting arms could freeze and consequently become loose, bend or completely separate
29/03/2019 – Volvo XC90, XC70, XC60, V70, V60/Cross Country, V40/Cross Country, S80 and S60/Cross Country (2014–2016)
Cracks in the fuel hose may cause fuel to leak into the engine compartment
09/02/2019 – Volvo XC90, XC60, XC40, V90/Cross Country, V60/Cross Country and S90 (2016–2018)
A software problem has been detected in the communication module of the emergency call system
As a result of incorrect assembly, the brake pedal may move out of position
18/08/2017 – Volvo XC90 (2016)
Faulty crimping of the micro-gas generator for the seatbelt tensioner in the third row of seats
21/03/2017 – Volvo XC90, V90/Cross Country and S90/Cross Country (2016–2017)
The bolts that secure the inflatable curtain airbags in place my break
23/01/2017 – Volvo XC90, XC60, V60/Cross Country, S90 and S60/Cross Country/S60L (2015–2016)
The front passenger seatbelt buckle can be incorrectly fastened
15/01/2017 – Volvo XC90, V90, S90, XC60, V60/Cross Country, S60/Cross Country and V40/Cross Country (2016–2017)
Due to a problem with the airbag inflators, the airbags may fail to deploy in the event of a crash
All recall information sourced from gov.co.uk data.