Why Change Disc Brake Pads?
An example of disc brake pads
Understanding The Importance Of Changing Disc Brake Pads When Needed
Hi There! The most routine maintenance on vehicles these days is changing the engine oil, which is recommended every 3,000 – 5,000 miles. Almost all new vehicle owners are good at getting this maintenance done. However, many new vehicle owners are bad at getting the 2nd most commonly performed vehicle maintenance task, which is to change disc brake pads.
First, let’s define what disc brake pads are and then we’ll discuss why it is important to get them changed every now and then. Disc brake pads are a newer type of brake (newer than drum brake pads anyway) and they are the main point of contact between your rotor and the braking mechanism in your vehicle. When you depress on the brake pedal, two calipers that hold the brake pads clamp down on the rotor and the friction causes the kinetic energy of the car to be transformed into thermal energy, thus slowing down the car until it comes to a complete stop (at which point it has 0 kinetic energy). Disc brake pads are better than drum brakes because they are resistant to brake fade – the phenomenon that occurs when the pads get too hot – which reduces braking power. Additionally, the stopping power of disc brakes is always directly correlated to the amount of pressure you depress on the brake pedal.
Now let us discuss why it is crucial to change disc brake pads every so often. Brakes are of the components on your vehicle that are extremely susceptible to wear and tear. The disc brake pads are continuously rubbing against the rotors whenever you want to slow down or stop. This continuous friction wears the pads down over time and eventually the distance required to bring your vehicle to a stop will increase as the pads become worn out. This means your car will be less responsive in situations where you may need to react and stop quickly.
So, how often should one change disc brake pads? This is a tough question to put a concrete answer to as people have different driving styles and the wear and tear will vary by driver. Generally, if you start hearing a squeaking sound coming from your car when you apply the brakes, then it is probably a good time to have them checked. Additionally, if you notice that it requires more force to stop or slow down the vehicle, then you definitely want to change disc brake pads. Keep in mind that it is better to change them as soon as you notice they are worn down; if you continue to drive with bad brake pads you could damage the rotor which will cost you much more to replace than just the pads themselves. More importantly, driving with bad brake pads greatly increases your chances of being hurt in a critical situation where you need your car to react quickly and effectively. If anything, just remember that when you hear a squeak, it’s time to change the pads!
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