Brake Pads – How Important Are They?

Here’s a typical scenario: you are driving down the street and a squirrel darts out in front of you and you stomp on your brakes. Many things happen behind the scenes. One important factor: your brake pads did their job.

The brake pads contacted and applied pressure and friction to the brake rotor. Imagine trying to grab and hold on to a heavy metal disc that was spinning really fast. You’ve got pads on your hands and you are slowly squeezing the metal disc until it stops. Thankfully you seldom have to do anything like that – but your brake pads to it repeatedly for thousands and thousands of miles, with nary a complaint.

Does Size Matter?

Yes! Badly worn brake pads may be about 2 millimeters thick, misshapen and have acquired a glaze that reduces their frictional capacity. New pads are about 12 millimeters thick. That’s a huge difference.

How Long Does It Take for Brake Pads to Deteriorate?

The lifespan of a set of brake pads typically depends upon several variables, such as personal driving style and the laws of physics. It is generally accepted by mechanics and manufacturers that mileage can range from 30,000 to 70,000 miles.

That’s A Huge Range, What Gives?

Brake pads come in a wide-range of types and compositions: organic, semi-metallic, metallic, and ceramic/synthetic. And every car manufacturer has their own dizzying array of brake systems and rotors. Heat, pressure and friction also affect the life of the pad.

Wow, I Never Imagined… What Next?

Your brakes are one of the hardest-working components in your car. You rely on them and expect them to be running at peak performance. The key to staying safe is regular brake inspections to determine when the brake pads are too worn.

If you suspect you are having issues with your brakes, come in to S&S Research and get your brakes checked out by our team of car-care professionals. Give us a call at 262.968.3324.