When To Change Brake Pads

When To Change Brake Pads

Brakes rotors and pads obviously wear over time and eventually will need replacing. How long a brake lasts depends on the material of the brake as well as your style of driving. Read on to learn more about how you can maximize the use of your brakes and avoid unneccesary wear and tear.

Brakes need regular maintenance to ensure they are working at their best. Car disc brake systems are made up primarily from brake pads, brake calipers and the brake rotor. Eventually the pads and rotors will need replacing depending on several factors.

Driving Habits

When a driver pushes their brakes, the hardness of which they do so has a large impact on the durability of the brake pads and how long they will last. Some drivers do what is known as “riding the brake” and usually stop in an abrupt fashion while other coast to a stop in a gentle manner. From this one can ascertain gradual, smooth breaking increases the lifespan of a brake pad. At the same time, it is vital you are able to break in abrupt manner when safety requires you to do so.


There is no question the stop and go traffic patterns of urban driving are harder on brake pads than when you are on the open ride outside of towns and cities – obviously, because breaking is less frequent in those circumstances compared to driving in the town or city. When you drive in areas that are mountainous, the steep changes of elevation can cause brakes to wear out far more quickly than when driving on flat roads – simply because the brakes are utilized more often to control speed when going downhill.

Hardness Of Brake Pads

As brake pads are available in many differing compounds, this allows a driver to tailor the hardness or resilience of a brake pad to suit their style of driving. Of course, brakes that have a harder compound usually last longer than brakes that do not, but the hard compound brakes need to be warmed up to perform at their bet. Conversely, softer brake compounds usually work better at lower speeds and are best suited to urban driving. In cases where there may be an excess of heat this may be the cause of the pad compound melting on to the brake rotor and reducing the performance of the brakes.


The materials the brake pad and brake rotor are constructed from also play a part in assessing the durability of the brake. Carbon-ceramic brakes will endure more than standard metal brakes, but they need to be warmed to be as effective. The downside is the former kind of brake is very expensive and are usually only utilized on very high-end sports style cars. Metal or steel brakes are far more common and have proven to be perfectly suitable for a very wide range of driving conditions.

When Do Your Brakes Need Replacing?

In the normal run of things brake pads should be replaced every 50,000 miles and some, depending on their design need to be replaced after every 25,000 miles. However, there are some on the market that do not need to be replaced until after 70,000 miles. To get an idea of more accurate numbers, consult the owner’s manual that came with the car. Other signs to look out for that may indicate brake pad replacement is needed include:

  • When your braking becomes jittery it may be a sign of warping of the rotors. There are treatments available that grind or clean the rotors surface with the goal of making them flat once again. However, in most circumstances it is just safer and less expensive to replace the brake rotor.
  • When you hear a scraping or squeaky noise it is a way the brake pads are telling you they need to be replaced as they have small metal hairs at their base and the sound they make lets the drive know they are short of grippy material needed got sake braking.
  • You must regularly inspect the thickness of your brake pads. A good idea is to do this at each oil change or when the tires are rotated.

Schedule Brake Pad Replacement In Scottsdale

Call or Stop By Our Brake Pad Replacement Shop In Scottsdale, Arizona.  In addition to being a full-service gas station, we employee ASE Certified mechanics that work on imports and domestic vehicles alike.  When you need new brake pads, brake rotors, or other brake services such as a brake fluid system flush our team is here to help!  Conveniently located in Scottsdale we can tend to nearly any vehicle repair or maintenance need.  Stop by our Brake Shop In Scottsdale located at 7171 E Lincoln Dr. Scottsdale, Arizona 85253 or by giving Bridwell Automotive Center a call today (480) 948-4781.

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