Automotive

3 Keys For Effective Brake Pad Maintenance

Brake pads are essential components of a car. Without them, cars can’t stop unless drivers apply engine or emergency brakes. In many cases, brake pads wear and tear naturally. Improper break-in procedure and seized caliper parts could also result in this issue. Fortunately, excellent maintenance slows down this process and makes the pads last longer.

Suppose you want to learn about proper brake pad maintenance. In that case, you may need to identify how to retain the quality of brake pads. Likewise, you may want to know some tips and tricks to keep your brake pad system in its best condition. For that purpose, here’s an article to guide you. Read on to know more.

1. Run Maintenance Checkups Regularly

Brake pad inspection should follow a regular inspection so you can drive safely. In some cases, the brake pad system may only need basic troubleshooting or tweaking the brake pads and other components.

In other cases, the car may need complete brake pad replacement. For this purpose, you may research your car’s brake pad replacement cost to compare pricing and service fees in the market.

Yet before you pay for it, you may need to examine all of the brake pad’s components, including:

  • Disc And Drum Brakes

Disc brakes are found on the front wheels, whereas drum brakes are located at the rear. Disc brakes are pressed against a rotor when the driver steps on the pedal. Meanwhile, drum brakes connect to wheel cylinders, brake drums, and brake shoes.

These brakes wear out and may need replacement every 12,000 miles in most cases. However, you may change them earlier if their lining is thinner than 1/8 inch. Apart from natural wearing out, the brake pads may malfunction because of disassembled calipers and wheel cylinders.

  • Brake Pedal

Pedals are pressed by stepping on them to activate the brakes. If your pedal feels too cushioned or spongy, you may need to bleed the brakes. In addition, you may need to top up the brake fluid to replenish what has bled out.

  • ABS (Anti-Lock Braking System) Control Module

ABS-compatible cars have control modules that diagnose the vehicle’s braking system. These car parts prevent the wheels from locking up—the abrupt and unsafe full stop of a car that may lead to rolling. If the module is functioning incorrectly, the ABS diagnosis could become faulty and may not send the suitable pressure to prevent locking.

  • Emergency Brake

This special brake is intended to keep the car from rolling away. It also needs checkups to ensure that you can still stop your car or hold it in place even if your primary brakes aren’t working. This one important part is included in every driving lesson to teach you how to maneuver your car safely during emergencies.

Apart from inspecting the brake pad and its components, you may need to change your brake fluid every 25,000 miles. You could also replace the rotors every 60,000 miles for a maintained and excellent braking system.

2. Adjust Driving Habits For Better Brake Pad Maintenance

Apart from maintenance runs, you may still consider your driving habits for a well-preserved braking system. For more ideas on what may quicken your brake pad’s deterioration, you may check the following:

  • Sudden Stops

Abrupt stops while driving may cause strains in your brake pads. If this becomes a habit, your pads may become thinner even before their expected replacement period.

  • Braking While Coasting Downhill

When driving downhill, some drivers tend to press on their pedal lightly. This way, the braking system works more than what’s needed. As a result, heat builds up, leading to damage to the pads and rotors.

  • Too Much Weight

If you’re carrying too much weight in your car, more pressure may be necessary to stop your vehicle. Because of this, the pads take more than their restrictions. Continuous heavy pressure on the brake pads can result in quicker weakening.

  • Unnecessary Braking

You may need to refrain from unnecessary braking to avoid unexpected pressure on the pads. This way, your braking system could perform better and longer.

3. Use High-Quality Brake Pads

Apart from regular maintenance, choosing the best brake pads is necessary. With this in mind, you may inspect the following qualities:

  • Heat Dispersion And Absorption

Brake pads that can’t dissipate heat are likely to affect brake friction. If this happens continuously, the braking pads may have rotor failure and brake damage, leading to a sudden full stop of the car. For this reason, you may need to choose brake pads that could disperse and absorb heat better.

  • Durability

This may refer to the slow wearing of brake pads. Durable pads last longer and generally have better calipers and brake lines. Besides, these pads are less noisy compared to the inferior types.

  • Cost-Effectiveness

High costs don’t necessarily mean top quality. However, the brake pads with the best quality are often more expensive than the others. To be sure that you’d pay for what your car deserves, you may need to check the pad’s thickness and durability. You may also ask seasoned mechanics about the qualities of brake pads you may look into for better options.

  • Compatibility

While most brake pads are custom-fit to any wheel or car, there are still choices that can’t suit a particular vehicle. Thus, you may need to research the dimensions of the brake pads and the part where they’ll be installed or attached.

Wrapping Up

Proper brake pad maintenance is vital to keep your brakes in excellent condition. Hence, you may need to set up a regular maintenance schedule to see whether or not your brake pads and their components are fit for the road. The insights presented in this article could also help you. 

You may also interview experienced mechanics for hacks that could improve your car’s braking system. Ask them about the different factors that affect brake deterioration. These may include the weather, temperature, weight, and brake pad quality. On top of all these, you may tweak your driving habits to make the most of your brake pads.

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