What Are Brake Pads?

Jan 20, 2021

What Are Brake Pads?

What Are Brake Pads?

Brake pads are the most important safety feature of our cars and in this article, we will run through everything you need to know about brake pads.

What are brake pads?

In a car’s braking system, you will find brake pads, discs and a calliper for each wheel. Pads are then fitted in the calliper with their friction material almost touching the two sides of the brake disc. When you add pressure to the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid in the calliper pushes each brake pad against each side of the brake discs. This then brings your vehicle to a stop.

If you think about the number of times the simple action of pressing on your brakes takes place a day, it’s no surprise that brake pads are one of those car parts that suffer more wear than others, resulting in them needing to be replaced more regularly.

How long do brake pads last?

How long your brake pads last are due to a number of factors, however, a set of pads can last anywhere between 30,000 - 70,000 miles and more. It’s worth taking the following factors into consideration which can give you an idea of how long brake pads might last:

Where you’re driving

If a lot of your driving time is spent on the motorway, it’s likely that your brake pads will last longer than someone driving around cities and on shorter journeys. When driving through towns and cities, you require more stopping and starting at junctions or traffic lights, meaning your brakes are being used more than when you’re driving on the motorway.


Another contributing factor to brake pad wear is the excess weight such as four or five passengers or a fully loaded boot. When a vehicle is lighter, you will find it’s easier to slow down and stop with less braking effort.

Brake pad type

The type of brake pads you have on your car can affect the wear and tear. If you’re using organic brake pads, these generally have a shorter life span as they are cheaper. However, if you have ceramic brake pads, they last longer than other materials and are more resistant to wear.

How many miles you are doing

How many miles you cover is also a contributing factor to brake pad wear, although be aware this will fluctuate depending on the type of road you’re on. The more miles you do, the more your brake pads are used and the faster they wear out.

How do I know if my brake pads need replacing?

Never ignore the tell-tale signs of brake pads that need to be replaced. While many modern cars are fitted with brake pad wear sensors, there are other signs you can look out for:

● Warning light telling you your brake pad wear is critically low and needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

● Loud screeching noises when braking.

● Visual check of the brake pads to see how worn out they are.

● Pulling to one side.

● If the brake pedal vibrates when you apply pressure, this is a sign of worn brake pads.

Do you need new brake pads? Here at MyCarNeedsA.com, we can gather quotes from local, reputable mechanics in your area to replace your brake pads. Get your quotes!

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