Car Care Tips: How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

October 22nd, 2022 by

As you might imagine, the wheels on a vehicle rotate incredibly fast and play a vital role in stopping the car when you step on the brake pedal. To do this, the hydraulic fluid used to power the brakes is converted into force. That force is then transferred to the brake pads which contact the brake rotors and create friction. This is what slows down the wheels and eventually stops the car. Consequently, brake pads are subject to a lot of wear and tear. Click the button below to call our parts department in Cincinnati with all of your brake pads questions.

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Most brake pads are made of steel and other tough, durable materials. However, they also contain a friction material that wears down over time. When the thickness of the friction material gets too low, your braking performance will suffer. This could mean the difference between stopping in time and being involved in an accident.

So, how long do brake pads last? The answer, unfortunately, is not a simple one. Several factors can affect the lifespan of your brake pads. In this guide, we’ll answer that question and give you some insight into when you should get your brake pads replaced. We’ll also touch on some signs that your brake pads might be worn out.

What is the Lifespan of Brake Pads?

IMG_3638 by Kalvin Chan is licensed with CC BY 2.0

There’s no definitive answer to this question. The lifespan of your brake pads will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • The type of vehicle you drive.
  • Your driving habits.
  • The quality of your brake pads.
  • Whether or not you regularly perform maintenance on your brakes.
  • The roads you typically drive on.

That said, most brake pads will last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. Of course, this is just an estimate. Some pads may need to be replaced sooner and others may last longer. For instance, if you drive in a lot of stop-and-go traffic or live in an area with a lot of hills, you might need to replace your brake pads more frequently.

Taking good care of your brakes can help ensure they will be there when you need them. A good rule of thumb is to have your brakes checked at least every six months or sooner if you notice any of the signs we’ll discuss.

Signs That Your Brake Pads Need to Be Replaced

If you’re not sure whether your brake pads need to be replaced, there are a few signs that you can be on the lookout for, including:

  • Indicator lights: Many newer vehicles are equipped with brake pad wear indicator lights. These lights will come on when it’s time to replace your brake pads. Check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle has this feature.
  • Squealing noise: Wear indicators are built into the brake pads. When they get low, they will make a noise to alert you that it’s time for a change. If you hear a high-pitched squealing noise whenever you brake, it’s a good indication that your brake pads are getting low and need to be replaced.
  • Grinding noise: If you hear a grinding noise when you brake, that’s another sign that your pads might need to be replaced. This noise occurs when the wear indicator is completely gone, and the pad’s metal backing plate comes into contact with the rotor.
  • Increased stopping distance: If you find that it’s taking you longer to stop than it used to, that could be a sign that your brake pads are wearing thin and need to be replaced. This may also indicate brake fluid issues, so it’s best to have your brakes inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
  • Brake pedal pulsing: If you feel your brake pedal pulsing when you press down on it, that’s a sign that your brake pads might be wearing thin. This pulsing is caused by the caliper not being able to apply pressure evenly to the rotor. It can also be a sign of warped rotors. Either way, it’s best to have your brakes checked out by a professional.
  • Vibration:  If your steering wheel or brake pedal vibrates when you brake, something might be wrong with your brake pads. Chances are, they’re either not properly seated or might be warped. In either case, you’ll want to have your brakes checked out by a professional.

How to Make Brake Pads Last Longer

There are a few things you can do to help extend the life of your brake pads. Here are a few tips:

  • Shed some weight: The heavier your car is, the harder your brakes must work to stop it. If you have a lot of extra weight in your trunk or back seat, remove it if possible.
  • Have your brakes regularly inspected and replaced as needed: This is one of the best ways to extend the life of your brake pads. By catching problems early, you can avoid more extensive damage in the future.
  • Use high quality pads: When it’s time to replace your brake pads, be sure to use high quality Honda brake pads designed for your specific vehicle. Cheaper brake pads might save you a few dollars in the short term, but they will wear out quickly and could cause more damage to your brakes.
  • Be mindful of the roads you’re driving on: If you know you’ll be driving in a lot of stop-and-go traffic or hilly roads, try to avoid them if possible. These roads can be hard on your brakes and cause them to wear down more quickly.
  • Avoid hard braking whenever possible: If you can, try to avoid hard braking. This puts a lot of stress on your brakes and can cause them to wear down more quickly. Instead, try to brake gradually to extend the life of your pads.

Brake pads are critical to your vehicle’s braking system and keeping them in good condition is paramount. Be sure to monitor for signs of wear, and have your brakes checked regularly to ensure they’re in good working order. With proper care, your brake pads can last for many miles. Performance Kings Honda is your premier destination for all your brake needs. We have a state-of-the-art service center , and our highly trained technicians are here to help you with anything you need. Feel free to give us a call or schedule an appointment online today.

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