As a brake pad wholesaler or mechanic, the chances are that you’re often asked by your customers how often they should replace their brake pads.
“How long is a piece of string” is the most common answer – indeed, the truth is that it depends on the vehicle, how it’s being used, and the performance of the brake pads.
That’s why in the United Kingdom, consumers are encouraged to have their car serviced annually so issues such as worn brake pads can be easily identified and repaired.
Indeed, good brake pads can save your customers time, money, and even their lives, so they must be regularly checked and replaced when necessary.
There are four types of brake pads, and each is designed for a different need.
Ceramic brake pads are the most expensive but are good for absorbing heat and are necessary for vehicles that require continuous hard braking, such as racing cars. Semi-metallic brake pads, on the other hand, are amongst the most popular brake pads, offering resistance to heat and wear.
Non-asbestos organic (NAO) brake pads are amongst the softest available on the market, manufactured from rubbers, glass, and resins, whilst NAO brake pads are made from organic fibre and a limited amount of metal. You’ll find that most of your customers are using semi-metallic brake pads, but it’s always worth asking the question when they’re enquiring about new pads.
How long do brake pads last?
One of the most common questions we’re asked at Frontech is how long our brake pads last.
There are lots of factors that can impact the lifespan of a brake pad – the most common being the materials used in their creation, the driving style, environmental factors such as road conditions and weather, and the duration of usage. Many brake pad manufacturers suggest that brake pads should last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles, which is an excellent estimate to quote to your end customers.
However, it’s worth noting brake pads can last for as little as 100 miles or as long as 100,000 miles, depending on conditions. To be safe, encourage your customers to replace their pads every 30-40,000 miles for safety and driving performance.
Prolong the lifespan of brake pads
In today’s times of environmental concern and, indeed, economic uncertainty, your customers will no doubt be asking for ways to prevent damage to their brake pads and prolong their life.
The good news is that there are lots of strategies to consider, not least:
- Avoid ‘two-footing’ – when users step on their brake pedal at the same time as their other foot is on the accelerator. This prematurely wears brake pads.
- Avoid harsh braking at all costs unless there is an emergency.
- Avoid braking at high speeds, as this subjects brake pads to high friction.
- Try coasting to minimise braking. Downshifting prolongs the life of brake pads.
- Avoid loading cars with too much. Offloading unnecessary items can reduce the kinetic energy needed to slow down cars and prolong the brake pad’s life.
- Make sure brakes are bled and flushed regularly.
- Reduce driving speed. Avoid roads that require harsh and frequent braking.
- Listen out for a screeching sound, and take the car to a garage if you hear it.
- Check the brake pads regularly and measure their thickness. Ensure brake pads do not go below 3mm in thickness and replace them immediately if they do.
- Ensure the vehicle is regularly serviced and receives an annual MOT.
Stay tuned to the Frontech blog for more tips on replacing brake pads.