You are out on the road, or the vehicle is rarely used for your daily commute. Either way, you might not have thought about the car’s brake pads. However, they are the most important safety features of a vehicle.
It is important to understand what they are, their function, and when you need to replace the brake pads. Like all other vehicle components, you must regularly inspect and maintain brake pads for your safety.
This blog covers all you need to know about brake pads, what they do, how to check if they work properly, and the signs that it’s time to replace the pads.
What Are Brake Pads, And How Do They Work?
A car’s brake pads are disc brake parts. They are flat steel pieces with friction material on them. When you press the pads, they make contact with the rotors of the brake and slow down or stop the vehicle.
The friction caused by the brake pads keeps your car’s wheels from turning. They are interconnected system’s part that depends heavily on the working of brake pads.
Each rotor in the system is connected to the wheel, and when you apply the pressure, the pads slow down your vehicle.
Types of Brake Pads
Car pads have a variety including:
- Semi-metallic – The newer models of cars are more likely to have a ceramic brake pad type. Being made from semi-metallic material make them highly heat resistant, but they can also become less efficient in cooler areas and temperature.
- Organic/ Non-metallic – These are the softest brake pads but wear out quickly. Moreover, they create brake dust in large amounts.
- Ceramic – The brakes have quite a high performance, so they are the priciest brake pads. These brakes can work perfectly at very high temperatures. The dust they produce due to wear is also less. But all models and makes of vehicles aren’t compatible with ceramic brake pads, so you should do research before opting for this option.
Tell-Tale Signs of A Bad Brake Pad
Usually, the wear sensors of your car can easily detect if the brake pads are critically low. However, some warning signs can tell you that your car’s brake pads need replacing:
Your car seems to be pulling to one side when you try to apply brakes. This means you have a serious brake issue or fault, and it can create a serious issue when using brakes in an emergency situation.
When brake pads wear out, then you will start noticing that the warning light on your dashboard for brake pad wear is on. The light means your pads are almost completely worn out, and you need to get them replaced ASAP to avoid an accident due to brake failure.
But the issue is all vehicles do not have these sensors for warning. So, if your car doesn’t have the sensors, get them inspected on a regular basis by your local mechanic.
When you try to take off or pull away the handbrake and meet a sticking or resistance, it is a sign that the pads need to be replaced. If that is the case with your car, get an expert to have a look at the brakes, as the reason can be excessive heating up of brakes and thus high wear & damage.
You notice frequent vibrations when you put your foot on the brake pedal and push it. It’s not a good sign. Your car brake pads may have been damaged due to excessive heating up.
Does your vehicle make loud noises when you apply brakes? If so, you need to purchase new brake pads for your car. Similarly, if there’s a grinding noise coming, then most probably, the pads are completely worn down and need immediate replacement.
How To Check If Your Car’s Brake Pads Need Replacing
You can visually check the pads to see their condition depending on your car’s model. Make sure to check the area between the wheel’s spokes. Thoroughly examine the outer pad that is pressing against the vehicle’s brake discs.
If the visible pad is less than 4mm, it’s important to get it inspected by a professional or mechanic.
A few brake pads have the wear indicator in the pad’s middle to indicate the wear. If the slot is not clearly visible or not visible at all, then the first thing you need to do is replace the pads.
How Can I Make Brake Pads Last Longer
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Here are a few tips for your next vehicle’s brake pads to last longer and reduce the time to replace them:
- Don’t put a heavy load in the car for the trips if there is no need. The more weight you place in your vehicle, the more pressure you add to the brakes. Remove all the things you won’t need from your car during the trip.
- Keep your car acceleration gradual and steady during driving.
- Keep your car at the prescribed speed limit, such as don’t slam your vehicle brakes suddenly. This creates undue pressure.
- Anticipate the situations in which you have to apply the brake and apply them slowly and gently.
How Much It Costs to Replace a Brake Pad
You can do it DIY when replacing brake pads, but it’s not the easiest thing to do. We recommend that you take the help of experts to replace the brake pads for you.
Taking on a professional’s help, you might think about how much it costs to replace a brake pad. The prices of car brake pads can vary depending on the brake types, models and makes and the company you hire.
Generally speaking, you can be looking for around $150 to $600 for replacing brake pads. The load on each axle varies, so the brake load differs and thus the wear.
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