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Brake Pads are one of the most common replacement items on any vehicle, and they are also one of the most important! Brakes are arguably the most vital safety component of any vehicle, so it’s important to properly maintain your vehicle’s braking system and have your brakes checked regularly by an expert technician.
Brake pads are an important part of any disc brake system – this is a brake design that is commonly used in passenger vehicles. Just about every passenger vehicle on the road has at least four brake pads at the front of the vehicle, plus another four at the rear. Some small passenger or commercial ute vehicles have a rear drum brake setup which does not use brake pads – if you are unsure of what type of brakes your vehicle has, contact an expert!
In this blog article we are going to explore the ins and outs of brake pads and how they should be properly maintained and replaced when worn.
A brake pad is the material that sits between the brake caliper and the brake rotor in a disc-style braking system. The caliper clamps the brake pad against the brake rotor when the driver applies the brakes, causing friction in the braking system and ultimately slowing the vehicle down. This friction generates heat in the braking system through the rotor and pad, and ultimately causes the brake pad material to wear down over time. As the brake pad wears it becomes thinner and reduces the effectiveness of the braking system.
How long the brake pads last comes down to a number of different factors including the vehicle weight, how often the brakes are applied aggressively (such as an emergency brake or performance driving), and the type of brake pad. A heavier vehicle like a 4×4 typically requires more braking friction and energy to come to a stop and will cause higher than average brake wear. A driver that often brakes hard, for example performance vehicles driven on a track, will also experience above average brake wear. On average brake pads should last between 40,000km and 100,000km.
Not all brake pads are created equally and this ultimately impacts the price! Brake pads range from standard replacement-style brake pads to performance brake pads and low-dust brake pads. Each type of brake pad is made with a different formulation and will have different friction characteristics. For example a performance brake pad will feature improved heat management so you can make repeated heavy stops before experiencing brake fade – where the brakes overheat and lose performance.
With this in mind, a set of brake pads can range anywhere from $100 through to $500 depending on the style of brake pad and the vehicle model.
The brakes are making noise
Brake pads and rotors have a minimum thickness level and when they become excessively worn past the minimum thickness, the brakes will become noisy as the pads vibrate against the rotors.
Brake warning light is on
Depending on the vehicle you own, you may see a brake warning light on your dash or the handbrake light may be illuminated at all times. This is to tell you that something is not right with your brakes and you should have them checked by a professional as soon as possible!
Car veers to the side when braking
If your car veers to one side when you apply the brakes, this could be a sign that your pads are worn or there is another issue with your vehicle’s braking system where the brake pressure applied to each wheel is irregular. A trained expert will be able to diagnose any issues with your braking system.
There are many different types of brake pads available to suit different vehicle makes and models and how the vehicle is typically used by the owner. Pedders offers Replacement Brake Pads, 4×4 Upgrade Brake Pads, Performance Brake Pads and Low Dust Brake Pads.
Most vehicles are designed to have a larger front brake pad versus the rear brake pad as the front wheels do the majority of the braking. This means that the front brake pads may wear more quickly than the rear. Front pads typically cannot be used on the rear of the vehicle and vice versa.
Rear brake pads are typically smaller in size versus the front and they may wear less quickly. Not all vehicles have rear brake pads as often small vehicles and commercial-type utes feature a drum-style rear brake which utilises a different brake design. If you are unsure what type of brakes your vehicle has, please contact an expert.
If you need brake pads or you would like to have your vehicle’s brakes inspected by an expert technician, please book in with your local Pedders store! What’s stopping you!
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