How to choose brake pads?

Timely replacement and the right choice of brake pads are essential to driver and passenger safety. How do you know when it’s time to replace your pads and what do you need to know to choose pads?

Car maintenance involves a whole complex of actions. The comfort and safety of the driver and passengers depends on the timely replacement of consumable parts. One of the mandatory consumables are brake pads. How to choose the right quality brake pads for the car, to understand that it is time for replacement and whether it is possible to save when buying? Let us find out in detail. However, if your car is badly damaged, we advise you not to waste time and give it for recycling:

How often should I change pads?

Brake pads – the most important element of the braking system, on which the efficiency and safety depends. Most modern car models are equipped with disc brakes. There are some outdated models, where discs are installed only on the front wheels, and the rear wheels have drum brakes. When the pedal is depressed, the brake rotor is compressed by the pads and the rotation slows down and stops.

The part consists of a friction lining and a body. The lining is subject to wear, it comes into contact with the disc, subjecting it to friction. The average service life of brake pads is 10-15 thousand kilometers of mileage. The period can be both reduced and doubled. Regardless of mileage, a spare part may wear unevenly, which is also a reason for replacement.

Wear factors include:

The composition from which the discs are made;

the type of braking system in the vehicle;

the weight of the vehicle and load;

driving habits;

the composition of the linings;

faulty brake cylinders and other components;

ambient temperature, weather, and time of year.

When is replacement necessary?

Even without being a specialist mechanic, you can understand when the resource of the consumable is exhausted or comes to an end:

Increased braking distance.

Uncharacteristic sounds when braking – creaking, squealing, squeaking, can be produced by the metal plate, which serves as an indicator of plate thinning.

A beating noise during emergency braking at a speed of 60-70 kilometers.

Change of brake pedal travel. Accelerated or decelerated braking at a normal pressure is an alarming sign.

Some models are equipped with a brake pad sensor. The sensor is triggered when the plate is thinner than the allowable mark.

Decrease of the brake fluid level.

A strong rattle, accompanied by the appearance of dust from the friction material, metal shavings on the discs – the reason for immediate treatment in the car service.

Paying attention to the above signs and making replacement in time, you will avoid getting into an emergency situation from brake failure, save your life and health.

Types of pads

The main difference to consider when buying is the composition of the plates. There are four types most often found:

Semi-metallic. The compound is a mixture of ferrous and non-ferrous metals, graphite and inorganic elements. They are installed on new cars at the factory, so it is this type of part that is focused on when making recommendations for replacement in the technical regulations.

Low-metal ones consist of organic materials, about 30% is copper or steel. They are characterized by a high level of noise and dust during operation, and rather quickly wear out because of the “softness” of materials.

Organic ones contain about 15% of metal, the rest is made up of organic elements: Kevlar, glass, carbon. Recommended for urban passenger car driving on level ground. The part has a long service life, softly interacting with other elements of the system. The disadvantages are high cost and reduced quality of work in adverse weather conditions. Organic compound performs worse when exposed to moisture, as well as on long descents or on vehicles with trailers.

Ceramic ones are made of ceramic fibers with the addition of synthetic rubber and non-ferrous metals. The main and only disadvantage is the high cost, so spare parts of this type are installed on expensive cars or cars with heavy weight. Ceramic plates are able to work equally effectively in all weather conditions, temperatures.

What to consider when buying pads?

Having decided on the type, pay attention to the following points, which help to answer the question of how to choose brake pads for the car:

marking for compliance with quality requirements, batch number;

the presence of the certification mark of the goods, the integrity of the packaging;

the logo of the company-manufacturer;

The absence of cracks, foreign bodies on the lining;

the figures of the operating temperature, the higher they are, the higher the braking efficiency;

availability of the passport, warranty card, instructions.

Pads should be replaced on both wheels of the axle, installing parts of the same manufacturer and batch.

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