If your car’s brake pads aren’t fitting perfectly in the caliper, it can cause many problems. The pads can wear out quickly, cause vibrations when you press the brakes, and even make it harder to stop your car.
This article will show you how to ensure your brake pads fit perfectly in your caliper, replace them if they don’t, and extend their lifespan.
What are brake pads?
Brake pads are the part of your brakes that make contact with the rotor to slow or stop your vehicle. They’re usually made of semi-metallic or ceramic materials and wear down over time as you use your brakes.
How do brake pads work?
When you press the brake pedal, the caliper piston and hydraulic fluid from the master cylinder push the brake pad up against the rotor. Your car is slowed down or stopped by the friction between the pad and the rotor.
How long do brake pads last?
The average lifespan of brake pads is between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. However, this might vary depending on the following:
- Quality of the pads.
- The type of vehicle you drive.
- Driving techniques.
For example, if you primarily drive in stop-and-go traffic or do a lot of mountain driving, you may have to change your brake pads more often than someone who primarily drives on highways.
It would help if you had your brakes checked regularly by a qualified mechanic to ensure they’re in good condition and to catch any problems early.
Factors that affect how long brake pads last:
Several factors might impact your brake pads’ lifespan:
1: Type of Vehicle:
- One aspect is the kind of car you drive. Heavier vehicles put more stress on brakes and require more frequent brake pad replacement.
2: Your driving:
- The way you drive is another factor. If you frequently make sudden stops or do a lot of city driving where you have to stop frequently, your brake pads will wear out faster than someone who drives mainly on the highway.
- Your brakes will wear down more quickly than if you let them cool down between uses if you tend to ride them or don’t allow them to cool down after severe use.
3: Quality of Brake pads:
- The quality of the brake pads themselves is a factor. Some types of brake pad materials wear down faster than others, so it’s essential to choose a high-quality pad when replacing them.
4: Conditions of the brake caliper and rotors:
- Your brake pads are made to perform harmoniously with calipers and rotors, among other brake parts.
Your braking pad may negatively impact if your brake rotors and calipers aren’t in good shape. Your brake pads may wear out earlier than usual due to a jammed brake caliper or covered rotor.
How to make brake pads last longer?
Brake pads typically have to be replaced every 30,000 to 50,000 miles. However, you can do a few things to help extend the life of your brake pads and avoid having to replace them prematurely.
- One way to help extend the life of your brake pads is to have them regularly inspected and serviced by a qualified mechanic. During an inspection, the mechanic will examine for wear and tear and make necessary adjustments.
- Another way to help make your brake pads last longer is to drive responsibly. Avoid hard braking whenever possible, and give yourself plenty of time to stop. Your brake pads will last longer if you do this.
- Finally, be sure to keep your brakes clean. With time, the buildup of dust and debris on the brakes might cause excessive wear and strain.
By keeping your brakes clean, you can help ensure that they last as long as possible.
Signs that indicate the need for new brake pads:
1: Brakes making a squeaking or squealing sound:
It’s probably time to change your brake pads if you hear screeching or squeaking coming from your brakes. When the brake pads are worn down, a tiny metal tab embedded in the pad grinds against the rotor, which produces the noise.
It is designed to warn you that your brake pads are getting low and need to be replaced.
2: Vibration when pressing brakes:
If the steering wheel or brake pedal rattles when you press it, it may be a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced because they are wearing thin.
The vibration is caused by the uneven wear on the brake pads as they get thinner.
3: Taking longer to stop the car:
If braking distances are longer than usual, your brake pads must be replaced since they are worn out.
The pads create friction between the rotor and the pad, so when they’re worn down, there’s less friction, and it takes longer to stop.
4: Warning lights:
Most cars have a warning light on the dash that will come on when the brake pads are getting low. If you see this light, it’s time to replace your brake pads before they wear out completely.
5: Brake Pads Appear To Be Thin:
If you can see through the gap between the caliper and rotor, or if the thickness of the pad is less than 1/4″, then it’s time to replace them.
How to replace brake pads on your own?
1: Remove your wheel:
The first step is to remove the wheel. You’ll need a lug wrench to loosen the nuts, and then you can pull the wheel off by hand. When removing the wheel, take care not to damage the braking rotor.
2: Remove the guide pin bolt:
Next, you’ll need to remove the guide pin bolt. This is typically located on the back of the caliper. Once you’ve removed this bolt, you can slide the brake pads out of their slots.
3: Remove brake pads:
Once you’ve removed the guide pin bolt, you can slide the brake pads out of their slots. When removing the pads, you must be cautious not to damage the caliper.
4: Check the brake disc:
After you’ve removed the brake pads, you should check the condition of the brake disc. You must replace it if it has any damage before continuing.
5: Identifying Pins or Checking the Slide:
Check the rubber boots, guides, and bolts for any signs of wear or damage. Make sure the sliding caliper can move freely on the runners if you have this sort of caliper.
6: Apply lubricant:
To avoid brake noise, apply a small amount of high-temperature disc brake grease to the back of the new pads, where they will contact the caliper piston and slide. Grease should not be applied to the pads’ friction surface.
7: Fit brake pads:
Before you fit the new pads, check that they are the same shape and size as the old ones and that they fit snugly into your caliper.
Once you’re sure, they’ll fit, use a C-clamp or similar tool to push the piston back into its bore until it’s flush with the caliper housing. This will make enough room to insert the new pads.
8: Test your brakes:
Now that you’ve replaced your brake pads, it’s time to test them out! Take your car for a short drive around the block, paying attention to how your brakes feel. If they feel spongy or soft, bleed your brakes according to your manufacturer’s instructions and try again.
Suppose everything feels normal; congratulations! You’ve just saved yourself a lot of money by replacing your brake pads.