How long do brake pads last? 

The brakes are arguably one of the most important safety features of a car. They are responsible for slowing down the speed of your vehicle and allowing you to stop. The braking system is made up of a brake disc, a calliper, and brake pads for each wheel. 

When pressure is applied to the brake pedal, the brake fluid pushes a piston against the calliper. This squeezes the brake pads against the brake disc, slowing down the wheels. All four wheels are slowed and the vehicle comes to a halt. 

How long do brakes last on a car? 

Your brakes wear down easily over time, as the brake pads become weak from the friction of being pressed against the metal brake discs. The pads are made out of a soft material which weaken every time they are pressed. The exact length of how long your brakes last is hard to determine as a lot depends on the vehicle usage and mileage to when the brakes would need inspecting.

That’s why it’s a good idea to get your brakes checked regularly. We recommend that you get them serviced approximately every 4 to 6 months. 

How do I know when brake pads need replacing?

Get your brakes checked if your car is showing any warning signs, like if the dashboard displays the brake light; if they are grinding or making a strange noise; if you feel them vibrating when braking; if the vehicle pulls to one side when braking, or if they’re leaking fluid. 

You can also check your pads to see if they look worn down. This will give you an indication if they need replacing. Look at your car wheel spokes and you should be able to see the pads through the gaps. If the pads look any smaller than 3 millimetres thick, then it won’t hurt to get them checked. 

What types of pads are there? 

Semi-metallic: these are made out of a variety of metals, meaning they can handle higher brake temperatures and they deteriorate slower.

Low-metallic: they contain less metal and therefore wear the brake discs less.

Organic: a quieter and cheaper brake, but they wear faster than other brake pads.  

Ceramic: more expensive than other types, but they typically last longer and can handle higher temperatures. 

What can affect my brake pads? 

There are a number of factors that can alter the lifespan of your brakes. 

Harsh braking will wear down the pads as it causes them to overheat. Slow, gentle braking over a longer distance is much better for your vehicle. 

Longer car journeys are also better for your pads. This also includes longer journeys without continual stopping and starting, like when you’re driving on the motorway. Shorter trips mean more stopping at traffic lights and applying brakes when using roundabouts and junctions. So, give your brakes a rest and try to cut back on short trips when you can help it. 

Carrying a heavy load? Extra weight in your vehicle can impact the braking system, so driving a car full of people, or heavy items in your boot, will shorten your brake’s lifespan. 

How do I replace my brake pads?

If you think your brakes are due for servicing, book a free brake pad check online. Leave it to us and let our experts take a look at your car.