Table of Contents
- What Is A Brake Pad?
- How Much Does Brake Pad Replacement Cost?
- How Many Brake Pads Does A Car have?
- What Are The Signs Of Worn Car Brake Pads?
- How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
- How To Check Brake Pads
What brake pad replacement cost you should expect depends on multiple factors. Experiencing weird sounds or spongy feelings from brakes that take a lot of time to lower the speed indicates that your car needs a brake pad replacement.
Since the braking system is the most critical part of any vehicle, which often wears down if not maintained, it is imperative to make quick decisions on time to prevent any mishaps.
Thus, this guide is for you if you are dealing with similar issues. In this article, you will learn about brake pad replacement cost, how many brake pads does a car have, how long do brake pads last, how to check brake pads, and what are the signs of worn car brake pads. Thus, keep reading till the end and be informed about your car.
Before we go over the brake pad replacement cost, let’s understand what a brake pad is and its role in a vehicle.
What Is A Brake Pad?
The brake pad is a crucial component of your car and plays a vital role in lowering the speed once you push the brakes. Brakes are built with a uniform piece of steel. This piece contains a comprehensive friction material on one side. The brake pads connect with the brake disc once you push the brake pedals, which results in causing friction and helping the wheels stop further movement.
Moreover, these wheels move pretty fast and making your car stop suddenly, or even frequent use of brakes causes a lot of stress on the brake pads.
How Much Does Brake Pad Replacement Cost?
Brake pad replacement cost varies among different vehicles and on the front and rear of the braking system. Various cars are installed with varying measurements of the brake calipers at the front and rear, where larger brakes are fitted at the front. Additionally, you may only need to replace either one or, in some cases, both brake pads.
Furthermore, brake pad replacement cost depends on the cost of the parts and labor per hour. Here, the cost of the parts varies from vehicle to vehicle, and labor rates depend on your location.
If you are experiencing a squealing or grinding noise when you push the brakes, then it is the right time to have them replaced—generally, brake pad replacement costs range from $150 to $400 per axle. However, the brake pad replacement cost varies depending on the type of car and the braking system on your car.
Factors Impacting The Brake Pad Replacement Cost
Here Are Some Other Factors That Significantly Affect The Brake Pad Replacement Cost.
Make Of The Vehicle
The make of the car also dramatically affects the replacement cost of brakes. For example, you must expect higher replacement costs for an SUV compared to a small-sized vehicle. Usually, the replacement cost for big cars like BMWs ranges from around $150 per axle, whereas it ranges from around $50 to $80 per axle for compact cars.
The Model Of The Vehicle
The model of your vehicle influences the brake pad replacement cost. If you own a high-performance vehicle, brake pads will be expensive. Generally, high-performance brake pads can cost up to $600 per axle.
How Many Brake Pads Does A Car have?
Generally, most standard car models have brake pads on each wheel, front and rear. But, many cars also possess two brake pads for a single wheel, which makes a total of eight brake pads. The calipers of the vehicle have four pads, whereas there are also cars with two calipers. Anyhow, the answer to how many brake pads does a car have depends on the type of vehicle, and making a generalized decision would be incorrect because there are many car models that differ from each other in how many brake pads are required.
What Are The Signs Of Worn Car Brake Pads?
Every time you push your car’s brake pedals, a small quantity of the friction material decreases from the brake pads. This friction material becomes fine with consistent use, especially if you commute daily and brakes are used frequently. Hence, if the brake pads are not replaced on time, the friction material will wear off, ultimately revealing the steel parts that grip the material. Thus, when these steel parts get in contact with the disc, it results in damaged discs and long braking distances. Hence, look for these signs to know about worn car brake pads.
Cars with brake pads have indicators to help the driver get aware of the screeching, squealing, or whining sounds while using the brakes. This noise occurs because of the small metal fitting on the brake pad backing panel. On the other hand, wear indicators also work on the same basis. Thus, once you start hearing these noises frequently while pushing the brakes, it is time to take your car for a brake replacement.
Apart from this, you may hear these noises when brakes get exposed to damp conditions such as rain. In this case, brakes may produce a similar screeching sound. However, if the noise vanishes after the initial few uses of the brakes, it indicates that the noise most probably happened due to the moisture content and not the brake failure.
Small Size Friction Material
You can check your car’s brake pads visibly on the disc brakes. However, it may need you to take out the wheels. Once the wheels are out, inspect the brake caliper that holds the brake. Your brake pads must be visible here that are pressed against the brake rotor. If the friction material is less than a quarter-inch, get your brake pads checked, most importantly if they have not been inspected for a long time.
Deep Metallic Grinding Noise
If your brake pads start making deep noises similar to metallic grinding or growling, it may be a serious indicator that the brake pads are worn off, and the backing plates are getting in touch with the discs. This metal-to-metal contact can result in severe damage to the car’s braking system. Hence, it is essential to visit the mechanic shop as early as possible to prevent unwanted situations.
While pushing brakes, if it feels squishy or hard, similar to a sponge, it may refer to worn car brake pads. However, you can still make use of the brakes, but it will require quite a lot of pressure to apply the brakes. Further, spongy brake pads also refer to brake fluid leakage or faulty brake cylinders.
Extremely worn-out brake pads will not apply the required amount of friction to the rotors to lower the car’s speed. This might result in accidents if your brakes take longer to respond every time you push the brake pedal.
Many cars have an indicator light on their dashboard that lights up when it is time to replace the brake pads. For this, check the vehicle’s user guide to verify whether it comes with a low pad warning system.
Car Pulls To One Side
While driving, you might experience your car tilting to one side because the braking system is faulty. Thus, if you find that the brake shoe is spoiled with fluid or grease, or even if your vehicle has a dripping cylinder, the brake pads will need to be changed.
How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
There is no particular answer to the query of how long do brake pads last. Most car manufacturers evaluate the longevity of braking systems with ranges from around 20 thousand to 70 thousand miles. However, it may raise concerns about why some brake pads last longer than others. Well, this depends on multiple factors.
Components That Affect The Longevity Of Your Brake Pads
Some of the most common factors that affect the lifespan of brake pads are listed below.
Suppose you are used to driving at high speeds and suddenly pushing the brake pedals to exert a lot of pressure on the brakes. This happens because your car requires great power to stop, resulting in worn-out brake pads. Consequently, driving at low speeds will not require you to put massive force into getting the car to stop. Hence, this practice will result in a good lifespan for the brake pads.
Type Of Brake Pads
The type of brake pads is of great importance when considering how long pads will last. Brake pads come in three different types, varying in the type of material used. Your vehicle might be using an organic brake pad, a ceramic brake pad, or a semi-metallic brake pad.
- Organic brake pads are assembled with fiber, rubber, glass, kevlar, and carbon blended with resins. However, this brake type has the lowest lifespan and is easily worn off.
- Metallic brake pads are made with suitable quality materials to extend durability and improve braking response. This type of braking pad can last up to 50 thousand miles.
- The ceramic brake pad type is usually installed in luxury cars. They are smooth and make for a comfortable braking experience. They have a lifespan of around 70 thousand miles.
Even though it is not noticeable, the driving environment plays a vital role in the longevity of brake pads. For example, if you live in a hilly region, every climb and drop on these roads will require you to put more pressure on the brakes than on flat surfaces.
State Of Brake Rotors And Calipers
Brake pads work in line with other brake parts such as calipers and rotors. Thus, if either one of these is not in good condition, it might affect the working capacity of the brakes. Rigid brake calipers or distorted rotors can cause brake pads to fail quite earlier than normal. However, even with the scenario, brakes will still work.
Additionally, if there is a burning kind of smell coming from the wheels, it may be due to a stuck brake caliper. On the other hand, if there is a jittery feeling or ineffective brakes, it is a sign that the braking system will soon collapse.
How To Check Brake Pads
Although it is recommended to get your car checked by a professional, you can still do the inspection yourself in needy situations. Follow the given steps listed below on how to check brake pads.
- Vehicle Jack
- Outside Micrometer
- Car Stands
Instructions To Follow
Inspect For Any Noise
As discussed earlier, inspect the brake pads for any considerable noise. For this, test your vehicle’s braking system for any squeaking, whining, or metal screeching sounds.
Check Brake Pads
Inspect the brake pads via observing through wheels and ensure they are not less than a quarter inch. Besides, if your car has a wear indicator, it will be visible as a slot in the center of the pads. Moreover, if the slot vanishes, it’s time for a replacement.
Look Over The Wheels
Observe the wheels and check for a significant amount of brake dust present. Less dust will indicate that brake pads need a replacement.
Check Steering Wheel
Examine the steering wheel and brake pedal. If they are shaking, it is an indication of worn-out brake pads.
Examine Brake Caliper
Look over the brake caliper and ensure it is mounted perfectly.
Verify Brake Pad Lining
Inspect the brake pad lining by verifying the thickness of the backing plate. If the width of the backing plate and brake lining surface is the same, brake pads need replacement.
Be Vary Of The Rotor
Scan through the rotor for any scoring, rust, or uneven wear. For this step, check the rotor specifications manual and estimate its thickness with the help of an outside micrometer. If the reading does not match the manual, get your car checked by an expert.
The article explores many factors that affect the brake pad replacement cost and, if you were to replace your brakes, how much would brake pad replacement cost you?
Many factors affect the brake pad replacement cost and its efficiency. However, a few factors are in your control, such as driving habits that increase the lifespan of brake pads. Thus, remember to regularly inspect brake pads and invest in good quality pads to avoid huge brake pad replacement costs later.