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How long do brake pads last? A useful guide

Brakes are the most important part to help you slow down and stop the car when necessary. 

Cars often run at high speeds, so it is very important to check car brake pads to ensure your safety. 

You need to know how you know when brake pads need replacing, how to replace them and especially how long brake pads last

In this article, we will walk you through all those stuff in detail.

How long do brake pads last


What are brake pads?

How long do brake pads last


Brake pads are an important part of a car’s brake system. 

Brake pads are responsible for contacting the rotating part of the brake and creating friction to help reduce the wheel’s rotation speed.


Why do you need to change your car brake pads?

How long do brake pads last


During operation, because the brake pads are subjected to constant friction, they will wear out over time. 

If the brakes are used improperly or the brake system fails to fix it soon, it will also cause the brake pads to wear out faster than usual.

Therefore, car manufacturers always recommend checking and changing brake pads periodically. 

And they also say that although the answer to the question “How long do brake pads last?” depends on different factors, you can get a satisfactory one if you avoid doing the following things.

Some common causes that cause car brake pads to degrade faster than usual include:

How long do brake pads last

+ Failure to clean and maintain the brake pads periodically: Without regular cleaning and maintenance, the brake pads will wear out faster than usual due to collected dirt.

+ Brake disc deformation due to impact: When a car has a collision, the brake disc may be deformed. If not handled soon, car brake pads will quickly wear out because when clinging to the brake disc, the brake disc does not rotate evenly.

+ Rusty brake roller battery: If the outer rubber gasket is torn and punctured, the brake roller battery may malfunction or get rusty. This causes when the brake drum battery cannot return to the right position when the piston exerts the great force affecting the brake pads.

+ Short brake pedal: This is also a possible cause of car brake pads wearing out quickly. Because the brake pedal is short, the brake is more sensitive, making the brake pads easy to get stuck on the brake disc, so it wears out quickly.

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+ Brake pads expansion due to water leakage: Brake pads can expand if water gets inside. And as a result, they fail to give good performances as they usually do.

+ Water-contaminated brake fluid: Water-contaminated brake fluid can lead to many problems for the brake system in general and brake pads in particular.


How long do brake pads last?

How long do brake pads last


According to car manufacturers, car owners should check and replace brake pads periodically every 50,000 – 80,000 km or after 2 years of use. 

However, in case the car’s brake system has to work intensely, like when the vehicle often rolls on a busy road and you have to use the brakes continuously, the brake pads wear out faster. 

Therefore, the replacement time will be sooner. Failure of the brake system that is not rectified early can also lead to rapid wear of the brake pads.

Therefore, it is difficult to know how long car brake pads last. 

It will depend on usage conditions, driving habits, brake maintenance mode and the actual condition of the brake pads. 

To accurately determine the time to change car brake pads, it is best to check and determine the condition of the brake pads.


How to know when car brake pads are worn out?

How long do brake pads last


Along with the question “how long do brake pads last?”, the question “How to know when car brake pads are worn out?” is also frequently asked by lots of car drivers. Therefore, we added this part in this article.

There are many ways to check the wear of car brake pads. Accordingly, it is possible to observe whether the car has signs of worn brake pads such as:

+ The car makes strange noises when braking: If the brakes make a squealing sound every time you step on the brake, the cause may be due to worn brake pads. Often these sounds will be creaking or creaking.

+ The vehicle is deflected when braking: When the brake pedal is pressed, if the car tends to shift to the left or right, it is likely that the brake pads of the car have worn out.

+ The steering wheel vibrates when braking: When you step on the brake, if the steering wheel shows signs of vibration, it is likely that the brake pads are worn.

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+ Car brakes do not eat: There are many reasons why car brakes do not work. The most common cause is worn brake pads.

+ Brake pad warning light comes on: Modern cars today all have a system of sensors and error lights, including brake pads warning lights. When the brake pads of one of the wheels are worn beyond the standard, the warning light will come on.


How to change car brake pads


Changing brake pads is not too complicated. 

It is possible to replace car brake pads by yourself at home if you have a certain understanding of automotive engineering as well as have all the necessary tools to change brake pads.

Instructions on how to replace auto brake pads:

Step 1 – Remove the wheel: First use the car jack to lift the car and then remove the wheel.

How long do brake pads last

Step 2 – Open the brake piston assembly: The brake caliper has a rubber-coated brake caliper bolt, you need to remove the bolt and use the screw to lift the piston assembly out of the brake assembly. 

You should keep in mind that after operating the piston assembly, you should use a rope to tie it back and not let the piston hang by the brake fluid pipe because it is easy to damage the oil pipe.

Step 3 – Open the old brake pads – install new brake pads: When the piston assembly is open, continue to open the old brake pads, then replace the new brake pads. 

Pay attention to the order in which the brake pads are opened, especially the mounting sides to easily install new brake pads.

Step 4 – Squeeze the brake piston: Due to the different thickness of the old and new brake pads, it will be difficult for the new brake pads to fit into the piston position when installed. 

Therefore, you should use a piston rod to compress the piston back to its original position so that it can match the new brake and brake pads.

Step 5 – Reassemble the piston and wheel assembly: After taking step 4, reinstall the piston according to the correct brake mechanism and apply more oil to the brake drum battery bolt. After that, reassemble the wheel.

After completing the replacement of the brake pads, the brake pedal should be pressed to ensure that the new brake pressure is sufficient. 

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Then try driving the car to check if the brake system is working properly or not.

How long do brake pads last




That’s the end of our article “How long do brake pads last? A useful guide”. 

With the above useful information, we hope that you will re-evaluate the importance of regular car maintenance, especially having to check brake pads regularly. 

By doing these things, you’ll drive safer, save money, and keep your car last longer.



Should you replace all 4 brake pads at once?


According to most mechanics, when you have trouble with one brake pad, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to replace all 4 brake pads simultaneously. 

However, to make sure that your car runs smoothly and safely, you should replace brake pads in the front or ones in the rear all at once. 

The reason for this is that brake pads installed at different axles wear out at a different rate while brake pads at the same axle often wear out at the same rate. 

So when one brake pad at one axle needs replacing, the other one at the same axle probably needs to be replaced too.


How much should brake repair cost?


It depends on what make or model your car is. 

According to most mechanics, on average you may have to spend around $300 to $500 on car brake pad and disc rotor replacement. 

And the number could be bigger, be it $1,000 or more if your car is a high end or performance one with larger brakes. 

However, the amount of money could be less as you don’t have to change the brake pads and disc rotors at the same time. 

The above number has been calculated as mechanics usually find that a car brake pad replacement often comes with a disc rotor replacement.


Do I pump brakes after changing pads?


In case  you have to change your brake pads, it’s advisable that you should start your car and pump brakes. 

The reason for this act is that normally, when replacing a brake pad, mechanics will have to retract the piston fully during swap. 

By pumping up brakes, it will help to move the piston and pad combo back out to have a good contact with the rotor to ensure that the brake system works properly. 

You should keep in mind that you should take 3-5 pumps for the maximum.

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