Brake pads are essential to safe driving. Without them, you wouldn’t be able to easily stop. Brake pads can last anywhere from 25,000 miles to 70,000 miles, depending on driving conditions and the quality of the pads. Here, we will discuss the warning signs and why brake pads go bad.
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What Causes Brake Pads to Go Bad?
- Driving habits
- The way you drive can determine how long your brake pads will last. Drivers that coast to a stop will be changing their pads less frequently than those who ride the brakes or take hard stops.
- City vs Country/Highway Driving
- Driving in the city with wear your brake pads more quickly than driving on country roads or highways. This is due to stopping at stoplights often while highways and country roads don’t require much braking. Areas that have mountains or hills wear the brakes out as you would need to continuously brake as you are going downhill.
- Hardness of the Brake Pad
- The harder the brake pad, the longer it will last. Most performance cars have harder brake pads. Soft brake pads are better for when the vehicle is traveling at low speeds.
- Materials Used to Make the Brake Pads
- Two types of brakes are the standard metal brakes and the carbon-ceramic brakes. The carbon-ceramic brakes are found in high-performance vehicles and are more expensive to replace. It’s very likely that you have metal brakes as these are extremely common.
- Pad Thickness
- You should be checking the brake pad thickness often. The thinner the pads, the more worn they are.
- Squealing or Scraping
- If you haven’t been checking the thickness, listen for squealing or scraping sounds. This is a sign that your brake pads are almost unusable, and you need to replace right them away.
- Shaking When Braking
- As you brake, you may feel the vehicle vibrate through the steering wheel and brake pedal. It’s possible that your brake rotors are warped if you are experiencing this. Take your car in to get checked on right away.