Brake pads are essential tools in your car and knowing when should you replace them is necessary. We have researched and prepared this detailed information to help you understand how long should brake pads last.
The lifespan of brake pads usually is dependent on several variables. These variables range from the type of brakes to individual driving skills.
Generally, the manufacturers and mechanics have a rough range of 30000 to 70000 miles. But this number is debatable because some brake pads in some stories have lasted mere hundreds of miles.
Brake pads come in several types and compositions. Some are made from ceramic, others metallic and to others made of composite. These same brake pads are attached to also several rotors and brake systems.
Also, factors such as temperature will affect the lifespan of brake pads. Here are things to consider about how long should the brake pads last.
Type of brake pads
There are generally four types of brake pads; organic, semimetallic, metallic, and synthetic.
Organic brake pads can be made from non-metallic fibers that are bonded together into a composite material. Organic brake pads have the best braking power, but they have the least lifespan on average because they wore out more when braking.
Semimetallic brake pads made with a mix of organic materials and metals. These pads are more resistant to heat and are harder. They are found on most cars and last longer even though they are not as effective as the organic.
Metallic brake pads are a result of a mix of pressure. They are almost obsolete because of the advancement in other types of brake pads.
Finally, the synthetic or ceramic brake pads results from composite materials that are non-metallic and also non-organic. They last longer but not as effective as the organic ones.
The mass of the car
The mass of the vehicle also plays a role in the wearing of the brake pads. Whenever a vehicle applies brakes, some things play a part in making it stop. The vehicle generally has to convert the kinetic energy (inertia) into thermal energy and heat.
This process produces a lot of heat that affect the lifespan of a brake pad. In simple terms, every time a car brakes, the brake pads wear out a little, this, in turn, will reduce the timespan.
The braking system in a vehicle can determine the lifespan of the brake pads. The braking system works in that the pads press against a rotor to make the car stop. It is made possible by the calipers.
The rotor has built-in heat fins that help in dissipating some heat energy hence extending its lifespan.
The calipers must work adequately to press the pads appropriately when needed. When this is not the case, then the pads wear out quickly.
A sticking or stuck caliper means that a constant or a pressurized contact with a rotor. It will increase heat and hence prematurely wear out the pad.
The way a driver applies their brakes will determine its lifespan. A driver using slow and less braking force, bringing a car to a stop will likely extend the lifespan of the pads.
On the other hand, if you apply full and sharp brakes frequently, then the pads will wear out soon.
The variables that play a part in the lifespan of brake pads are so many that you cannot accurately measure the lifespan of brake pads. But a reasonable estimate is 30000 to 50000 miles for the semimetallic brake pads.
It is good to always check on the brake pads more regularly to ensure they are working correctly. A small displacement of a caliper may cause a short lifespan. Check on the signs of wear on your pads every time to ensure safety.