Brake pads in good condition aren't just an essential requirement in order to pass the MOT test, they're also a crucial part of vehicle safety. As a vehicle owner, it's important to regularly check the condition of your brake pads in order to ensure that they are replaced before wear begins to impact on performance. If you're wondering 'how long to brake pads last?', then, as a rough guide, brake pads usually require changing after around 40000 miles. That figure may be as low as 25000 if the car is subject to frequent or hard braking. Conversely, a driver who brakes gently and travels fairly slowly may find that their brake pads and discs last for 60000 miles or more.
How to check brake pads for wear
An approximate estimate of pad wear can be made by looking at the outer brake pad through the wheel of the car: the brake pad will abutt a metal rotor. As a general rule, if more than a quarter inch of pad (3mm) is showing, it is still at a safe thickness.
When to change brake pads?
You will need to change your pads if their thickness is 3mm or less. Along with keeping an eye on the thickness, you should look out for the following.
- The brake warning light is showing on the dashboard
- There is more "give" in the brakes than usual (you need to press harder for longer in order to achieve a braking effect)
- The brakes are making a squealing or grinding noise when pressure is applied. If you hear these types of sounds, it's vital the pads are checked and replaced urgently. Squealing or grinding normally indicates that the pads have worn down to the metal: it is dangerous to drive the vehicle in this state.
If you notice any of these signs, don't delay in getting fresh brake pads fitted, or doing the job yourself.
How to change brake pads
Follow our simple guide to changing both front and rear brake pads. Given the importance of this component, we suggest using a professional mechanic if you're not 100% confident in performing this task. Usually, front brake pads need replacing more frequently than the rear ones, as braking forces drive the weight of the car forward.
What is the cost of replacing brake pads and discs?
How much to replace brake pads is a common question to which there is no single answer. The cost of replacement depends on the type of components used in the replacement process, as well as any labour charges should you decide to get the job done professionally. A branded set of car brake pads, for example, Mintex brake pads or Ferodo brake pads, are obviously going to be more expensive than a non-branded, generic option. Some people prefer to opt for a brake pad brand that matches the brand of their car, such as BMW brake pads or Ford Focus brake pads.If you're not sure which set of car brake pads is going to be right for our vehicle, why not use our online checker to find out the right type of pads for your car or truck? Just type in your registration number and we will be able to tell you the specification for your pads. Remember that not every car uses the same type of pad, so it's always worth checking to find out the best brake pads for your specific needs. You can also use the checker to see what options are in stock for your vehicle: in addition to generic products, we also stock manufacturer-specific options and some ultra-cool brands such as Brembo brake pads. We have one of the most comprehensive inventories of pads and discs that you'll find anywhere, enabling you to get components that are right for your car, even if they're not the commonest type. Our stock includes items for older vehicles, as well as pads which are suitable for off-road vehicles, SUVs, rallying and performance cars. If you can't find what you want, our knowledgeable, enthusiastic sales team are always happy to help when it comes to finding the best brake pads for your specific requirements. Our range is typically much bigger than that held by other suppliers: for example, we have more discs and pads in stock than the Halfords brake pads selection or the range at Tesco.
How much to replace brake pads?
Cost is largely determined by what type of pad you're looking for. Branded pads might be more expensive, but they often last longer than their budget counterparts. We love Ferodo brake pads here, as they offer high performance, exceptional durability and to be honest are a pretty cool brand to be seen with! When it comes to fitting costs, the labour charge varies from garage to garage. If you don't want to tackle the job yourself, it's worth asking a few garages what their hourly rate might be. Fitting brake pads normally takes anywhere from 15 minutes to around an hour, which should give you some idea of what the potential cost might be. If you want a straight-forward, cost-effective solution when it comes to getting fresh brake pads and/or discs, micksgarage.com offers a convenient option for brakes online ordering. Simple to use and with an excellent selection of products available, it's easy to get the components you need to keep your vehicle on the road for longer.