The Brakes of your car performs a very important function and there is a need for you to properly maintain them and ensure that they function at optimum function.
Your car brakes however have a number of parts. The brake caliper, brake pads, and brake rotor are the primary components of most car disc brake systems.
Of the three parts of a car braking system, the brake pads and rotors on all cars wear out eventually, but brake wear is dependent on a number of factors.
This is one of the primary reasons that your braking system gets destroyed. How hard a driver pushes their brakes greatly affects how long the brake pads last.
Some drivers are used to riding their cars at stop speed and stopping abruptly, while others gently coast to a stop. Smooth, gradual braking increases the lifespan of your pad. You should however note that you can brake abruptly when safety calls.
Due to stop-and-go traffic and traffic lights, driving in the city is harder on brakes than driving out in the country or on long straight roads because braking is required less frequently.
Driving in mountainous areas that have steep elevation changes can take a toll on your car, because it’s often necessary to ride the brakes to control downhill speed.
Brake pad hardness
Brake pads are available in different compounds to suit different driving needs. Hard compound brake pads last longer but need to be warm before they perform well, and can be mostly found on performance cars.
Soft compound brake pads perform better at low speeds, such as in urban areas. Too much heat can melt the compounds of the pad onto the brake rotor and reduce brake performance if the driving gets too extreme.
The materials that make up the brake rotor and brake pad can also determine how long they last. Carbon-ceramic brakes last longer than standard metal brakes, but they need to be warmer than the alternative to be effective.
However, carbon-ceramic brakes are very expensive and found almost exclusively on high-performance sports cars. Steel or other metal brakes are much more common and can sti serve a variety of driving conditions.
How Do You Know You Need A Replacement?
Generally, brake pads need to be replaced after about 80,000 kilometres. Some need to be replaced after 40,000, while others can last over 100,000 kilometres. Everything depends on the factors listed above.
To get a more accurate number for your car’s specific needs, consult the owner’s manual. The other factors that can tell you if your brakes are wearing out are:
Have your mechanic inspect your pads whenever the tyres are rotated or the oil is changed to check the thickness. Brake pads have small metal hairs at the very bottom to let the driver know when they are about to run out of grippy material. Immediately replace any brake pad making a squealing or scraping noise.
If braking becomes jittery, the rotors may be warped. Treatments that clean or grind down the surface of the rotor in order to make it flat again will get it back to normal. It however is less expensive to replace the brake rotor.
If the brakes look worn out or lose performance, they should be replaced. If there are any unusual noises or sparks coming from the brakes, have them inspected immediately. Good, functional brakes are key to safe, predictable braking and safe motoring!