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When is the right time to change your brake pads?

27/04/20

Brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle and something that should always be maintained. Without brakes, the safety of yourself and others around you would be at risk. They are there to halt your vehicle, avoiding collisions and accidents, allowing your vehicle to come to a stop, safely.

Keeping up with your brake pads condition is crucial when it comes to the safety of yourself, others in your vehicle and those on the road with you.  

Brake pads usually need to be replaced between 25,000-40,000 miles, this will ensure that you know your brakes are always in good working order and condition. However, this can often be shorter or longer.

Take into consideration your everyday driving, as this will affect your brakes. If you mainly drive within a city, you’re more likely to use your brakes than if you were driving in the country. Therefore, your brake pads may need changing sooner than others.

There are signs that you should change your brakes before this, but firstly, to understand these signs and to help you diagnose the issue, it’s good to understand your brake pads and their placement.

Where on your car are the brake pads?

Brake pads are usually paired with other components of the brake. Normally, found within a brake disk and made up of a brake calliper and a pair of brake pads for each wheel.

When you push down on your brakes, a hydraulic fluid pushes the brake pads towards the calliper, causing friction to allow your vehicle to slow down.

Thinking of how much this is used in one session, you can see the importance of regular checks for your brake pads to ensure they are still in a good working condition.

How do you know if your brakes need changing beforehand?

It’s very easy to ignore signs of change within your car and considering we’re not all mechanics, we never truly understand the severity of these signs.

However, ignoring a brake sign or a change in how they are working could lead to greater damage in the long run. Whether that be further damage to your vehicle or even an accident.

A few easy signs to identify whether your car brakes are faulty:

  • Are your brakes squeaky? A squeaky brake is usually the first sign of wear and tear and can show that your brakes are coming towards the end of their life. If this isn’t replaced, you’ll only wear them down further, leading them to grind and damage the rotary which will lead to greater costs in the long run. If your squeaking has shifted to a grinding noise, this will need to be replaced as soon as possible!
  • If you find that your vehicle seems to be taking longer to stop than usual, this could be a sign that your brake pads are wearing down, or even that your brake fluid is low.
  • For modern cars, an indicator light for this issue is built into dashboards in order to inform you. This can, however, be a sign to let you know that the parking brake is engaged. If your parking brake isn’t engaged, then you’ll need to visit a brake engineer as soon as possible.

How to fit brake pads

Brake pads are an essential and crucial component on your vehicle, which is why it’s recommended to have your brake pads fitted by a professional.

To replace your brake pads, your vehicle’s wheels will have to be removed.

Dissecting the brake disk will allow you to view the brake pads. By removing the guide bolt pin and unbolting the callipers, you will be able to unmount the old brake pads.

To replace these, you should apply a small amount of grease to the pads, avoiding the friction linings. Then, apply back onto the mounting brackets and push the callipers back into place.

Once these have been fitted into place, push down on the brakes so that the pads are brought up to the disk and fill up on brake fluid if needed.

It is always advised to fit brake pads in sets and not just on one side. If you only do one side, you’ll likely have uneven braking.

How much is it to fit brake pads?

Brake pad costings can vary depending on your chosen garage or expert, they can also vary depending on the amount of work that needs to be done. In some cases, it may not just be your brake pads that need replacing and could also be your disk or rotary.

It’s always best to speak to a professional and get their view and understanding on the matter and it is crucial to not let your brakes get too bad. Not only because it will cost you more in the long run, but also for the safety of yourself and others while you’re driving.