Replacing your brake pads will not only help you save money and time. It can also save your vehicle and your life in case of an accident. After all, it’s an essential component of your vehicle’s brake system. A malfunctioning brake pad will cause the calipers, discs, and other braking system components to deteriorate.
Maintaining your brake pads can help prevent costly repairs and hazardous driving conditions. But when is the right time to get a new brake pad? We will discuss the most common warning signs of faulty brake pads. Consider taking your car to the nearest repair shop for a brake inspection when you notice any of these signs.
- When to Replace Your Brake Pads
- Average Lifespan of a Brake Pad
- Types of Brake Pads
- Factors to Consider When Choosing Brake Pads
- Brake Repair in Ventura, CA
When to Replace Your Brake Pads
The lifespan of a brake pad varies, so it is a good idea to check your car’s service manual for the replacement intervals recommended by the manufacturer. But to keep your braking system in peak condition, you should consider replacing the brake pads when they are as thick as the backing plates.
If you are already experiencing any of the following signs, you should take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop to get your brake pads replaced. Don’t ignore these warning signs when you see them. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a faulty braking system that requires a costly brake repair service.
Brake pads usually have wear indicators that produce a distinctive squealing or squeaking noise when your brakes are engaged. If you hear this sound, your brake pads are in danger of eroding completely.
The brake pedal shakes when pressed
A binding resin holds the brake pads together. As the brake pads wear down, the resin melts and spreads across the rotor. There won’t be a problem if it is distributed evenly. But if the opposite happens, it will cause the brake pedals to shake or vibrate.
Some cars have brake pads with a unique holding device that keeps them steady. Others use bolts, pins, or clips to keep the pads in place. If the pads become loosened, they will begin to shake and produce a clicking sound when you push or release the brake pedal.
Look for the brake pads. If you see that they’re less than ¼” thick, you need to replace them with a new one.
Average Lifespan of a Brake Pad
The average lifespan of a brake pad depends on different factors such as driving conditions and vehicle load and type. Your driving style and the pad material also matter. For example, driving on mountainous roads or areas with multiple stops like towns will wear down your brakes faster due to heat and friction.
Likewise, passenger vehicles for hauling heavy loads will have to replace their brake pad much sooner. On the other hand, large and heavy vehicles have more robust brake pads as they require more help stopping and slowing down. Repeated and abrupt braking can also cause the pads to wear out faster. Smooth braking will help your brake pads last longer.
Types of Brake Pads
There are three types of brake pads – organic, ceramic, and semi-metallic. Brake pads were initially made from asbestos. When the material was banned, manufacturers resorted to composite materials. They combined fibers, carbon, rubber, glass, and other materials to create organic brake pads. These pads are softer-applying and quieter than other types of brake pads. However, they don’t last long.
Semi-metallic pads are made of graphite lubricants and metals like steel, iron, and copper to reduce heat build-up. These pads can also reduce friction, allowing heavier cars, SUVs, and trucks to stop more quickly. Heavy-duty vehicles usually use semi-metallic pads because they are durable.
Ceramic brake pads are made from hardened ceramic and copper fibers. These pads apply softly and have the longest lifespan among the three. Ceramic brake pads can endure high temperatures but don’t work well in cold conditions because they’re susceptible to cracking. Moreover, these pads are expensive.
Factors to Consider When Choosing Brake Pads
You have to consider several factors when looking for a replacement brake pad for your car. The best brake pad will depend on driving conditions and your driving style. For instance, brake pads for high-performance vehicles should handle high temperatures. To make things easier for you, here’s what you need to consider when choosing brake pads:
Driving and traffic conditions
Metallic brake pads are a good option if you often drive on hilly terrains. For sports or luxury cars, you can go for ceramic pads.
Some areas experience scorching summer heat, while others endure snowy winters. Ceramic and organic pads don’t work well in extreme temperatures, especially in cold weather. On the other hand, metallic pads are not affected by harsh temperatures and can perform well in almost all climates.
The vehicle type often dictates which pad you should use. Economy cars usually have organic pads, while sports and luxury cars may come with high-end ceramic or metallic pads. Pickup trucks and large SUVs usually use metallic brake pads. There are exceptions, but the best brake pads will ultimately depend on your needs.
Organic pads wear out faster due to their soft composition. Metallic brake pads have the longest lifespan because they are made of metals. If you need something in between, you can go for ceramic pads.
Ceramic pads are the most expensive option, followed by metallic pads. Organic pads are the most affordable choice.
Brake Repair in Ventura, CA
If your brake pads are starting to fail, it is time to look for an expert who can replace them for you. At Dependable Car Care, we always conduct a thorough brake inspection to determine the cause of the problem and provide the best recommendation. We will tell you immediately if any replacement or repair is necessary, so you can get back on the road safely.
Contact us to request a quote today.