As your vehicle increases mileage, some of its components start to wear out and may start to fail. While you can delay repairing some parts when they are damaged, replacing faulty brake components should never be delayed.
One of the parts to look out for is your vehicle’s brake pads. Not replacing them once they are worn out or have reached the end of their life can reduce your vehicle’s ability to slow down and stop, as well as damage surrounding brake parts.
So, you may be wondering that how long do brake pads last and when should you replace them? Keep reading to find out.
When should the brake pads be replaced?
Brake pads can last between 20,000 and 65,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. For example, if you drive a lot with stops and starts, there is a good chance that the brake pads will wear out faster than under more relaxed driving conditions.
The longevity of brake pads also depends on their type
Free from organic asbestos (NAO)
An NAO brake pad is created from synthetic materials like aramid fibers. Compared to a semi-metallic pad, it has a smoother lining, causes less wear on the brake disc, and produces less brake dust.
As the name suggests, a semi-metallic brake pad is made up of metallic particles. Although this is the most common type of brake pad used in vehicles, it produces a lot of brake dust and can cause discoloration of the wheels.
A ceramic brake pad is the most durable of all types of brake pads because of its ceramic and copper fibers. Compared to an NAO or semi-metallic brake pad, this type produces the least amount of brake dust.
Symptoms of brake pad wear
Brake pads are essential safety components, which is why it is essential to replace them when damaged or worn. Here are some signs to look out for when determining when to get a new set of brake pads.
Brake pad wear warning light or message activated
Some cars have brake pad sensors that will cause a brake pad warning light (or message) to appear when the pads are worn out. In some cases, if the pads are extremely worn, the red brake light may also come on due to the full extension of the caliper pistons, resulting in a low brake fluid level.
Low brake pedal
If you feel that you need to apply more pressure than usual on the brake pedal, the brake pads may be worn out and need to be replaced. However, note that this symptom can also indicate an extremely dangerous damaged master cylinder or brake fluid leak.
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Worn brake pads can make a squealing noise when you press the brake pedal because of the brake wear indicators contacting the rotor. When this happens, it is best to replace the brake pads immediately to prevent damage to the rotor.
Worn brake pads take longer to generate enough friction to stop your vehicle, which could be hazardous to you and other vehicles on the road. If you notice a slow response to braking when you press the brake pedal, it is a good idea to take your vehicle to the nearest repair shop to have it checked.
If you feel your vehicle vibrate or vibrate when you press the brake pedal, it could be due to a damaged brake pad or a warped rotor.
Choosing the best brake pad set for your vehicle
When choosing aftermarket brake pads for your vehicle, there are some factors that you should consider.
The correct set of brake pads will depend on the type of vehicle you are driving. A standard package would suffice for sedans and other light vehicles driven in good conditions. However, vehicles frequently used for towing or hauling may require a higher quality brake pad set.
Brake Performance Assessment Procedures (BEEP) Standards
Before purchasing a set of brake pads, make sure that it has passed the BEEP standards set by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SIA). This certifies that the product has been tested and meets the qualifications set by industry professionals.
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How to extend the life of your brake pads?
Brake pads are wearing components that may need to be replaced. However, there are ways to make them last longer.
To slow down
Drive slowly if you are not in a rush. This will help the brake pads last longer, as they won’t require a lot of friction to create a stop compared to fast driving.
Freewheeling is the act of shifting into neutral or downshifting (if you are driving a manual vehicle). This can extend the life of your brake pads as it prevents your foot from touching the brake pedal.
Losing unnecessary cargo
Removing the excess weight from your vehicle can help the brake pads last longer because they do not require a large amount of friction to stop the vehicle. Removing an additional load can also improve fuel economy.