Brakes, as you probably know, are one of the most important parts of your car, and one of the most crucial parts in keeping you safe while you are driving. Brake pads are a part of the brake mechanism. They are the parts that make contact with spinning part and use friction to slow it down.
As such an important part, it is crucial that you are aware of some things about brake pads that will help you keep your brakes working and keep yourself safe.
1. Brake pads need to be changed
There are so many different factors that go into the wearing down of brake pads. Depending on your driving habits, the environment, and the type of brake pads you have will make a difference in how quickly they will wear down and how frequently you need to change them.
A good rule of thumb is just to have them checked regularly. Some brake pads can last up to 75,000 kilometres, while others only last about 25,000 kilometres. If you are having your oil changed or any other maintenance, just have the mechanic check your brake pads while they’re at it.
2. How to tell if your brake pads need to be changed
Since there isn’t a very specific number that you can follow to know when you should get your brake pads changed, you can look out for some signs to know when it’s time to have them checked and probably changed.
If your steering wheel is vibrating, or you are hearing a strange noise when you brake – like a click or a squeal – those are some signs that your brake pads might need to be changed. Some cars have a light that will come on when it senses brake pad issues, but regardless of whether your car can or cannot sense these problems, you should always be aware of any strange things your car is doing. These signs can tip you off that there are issues that need attention.
3. How to make your brake pads last longer
Some of the wear and tear on your break pads is out of your control. It could be due to extreme weather conditions and other environmental factors, however there are some things you can do. Slamming on the breaks to stop, or stopping abruptly is harder on your brake pads, while coasting to a slow and gentle stop is much easier on them.
Don’t ride your brake unnecessarily or push the brake while you are accelerating. If you can think ahead to when you will be stopping, trying to stop from a lower speed will be easier on your brake pads than if you had been going even 5 or 10 kilometres faster.
4. What brake pads are made of
There are a number of different types of brake pads. The most common ones are semi-metallic which are made of metal shavings and resin. Organic brake pads are made of glass, rubber, and resin, while ceramic brake pads are made with ceramic fibers.
Different brake pads have different qualities that make them good or bad in certain situations, and not all brake pad types and materials are best suited for all vehicles.
5. How to know which brake pad to choose
Reading the owners manual for your vehicle is a good way to find out what kind of brake pad would be best suited to your vehicle, however you may also want to consider the environment you are driving in. Other factors that may affect your decision are durability, price, and your own personal driving habits.