Brake pad life is effected by several different factors, the vehicle operator’s driving habits, what your brake pads are made out of, also what percentage of driving is done on the highway vs. city streets.
Different vehicles have different brakes, some have ceramic brake pads, some have semi-metallic brake pads and others, few and far between, have organic brake pads. Ceramic pads tend to last the longest and have a higher tolerance to high temperatures. But if ceramic pads are used in an application where semi-metallic brake pads were intend the stopping distance of the vehicle could be effected as well as the vehicles brakes could be more prone to over-heating by not using the proper brake pads. Here at Tim’s Quality Car Care we always use the original equipment brake pad formula.
Another aspect that effects the life of brake pads is the percentage of time the vehicle spends on the highway vs. how much time it spends on city streets. Vehicles that are primarily driven on the highway tend to have their brakes last much longer than similar vehicles that are driven mostly in town. Brake pads wear down as a result of the friction generated while slowing down your vehicle, so it stands to reason that if you slow down less, i.e. driving for extended periods on the highway, your brakes will last much longer
Finally and probably the largest variance on the life of brake pads is You, the driver. Do you drive with one foot always on the brakes? Are you an aggressive driver who waits until the last second to slow down? Do you frequently drive down mountain roads? How you treat your brakes has a lot to do with how long they will last.
Brake pads should be changed out when they have been used to the point that the friction materiel is 3 millimeters or less. When your brake pads are that thin they can no longer dissipate heat how they should, as well as the friction materiel is getting thin to the point that the puck, or cast iron plate that the pad is mounted to is getting too close to the brake rotor. Some vehicles have indicators on the brake pads and the brakes will emit a squealing noise when the pads get close, but many do not.
At Tim’s Quality Car Care we understand how unique brake pad wear is to the individual driver so we check your brakes every time every vehicle is serviced. Brake wear checks are part of our Digital Vehicle Inspection that comes free with every service. We will have measurements and photos of your front and rear brakes available to you on your phone! Let the pros at Tim’s help keep the brakes on your car safe.