CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRAKE PADS

CHOOSING THE RIGHT BRAKE PADS

While some people like to take their vehicles to a mechanic regularly, some neglect all the warning signs of their cars until there is a major breakdown in the middle of the road. Regardless of the amount of maintenance and attention you pay to your vehicle, one thing that should never be ignored is the braking system. Brakes are an essential part of any vehicle as its efficiency ensures the driver’s as well as the passengers’ safety. 

Upon visiting the market, you will find that there are numerous different varieties of brake pads and brake shoes, and all of them vary in terms of quality and prices. The good news is that finding the right ones for your car according to your budget is not an issue. 

Each kind of brake pads, as well as the brake shoes, are unique and have different pros and cons that a customer must be aware of so that he/she can vary the facts. The final decision will be based on the amount of knowledge and understanding a person has about the brakes of their car. 

Let’s take a look at all the essential factors you should consider while getting the brakes of your vehicle replaced. 

WHAT IS THE RIGHT TIME TO REPLACE THE BRAKE PADS?

According to the automotive manufacturers, there are about two instances when you should get a replacement for your brake pads;

  1. One should replace the brake pads whenever he/she is getting a change of tires. Why? It is only because the tires and the brakes work in coordination with each other while playing a vital role in stopping your car. Hence, it only makes sense to get both of them replaced at the same time. 
  2. You should get the brake pads replaced when your vehicle has run about 30,000-40,000 miles. If you decide to wait until the pads wear out, then it will only put a burden on your budget as the brake rotor will also get damaged, and a replacement would be required. 

Some people trust their cars and their braking system too much that they wait to get the pads changed until they do not see a few warning signs. This prolonged changing of pads could also be a result of the limited salary of a person that stops him/her from spending on their cars. 

In any case, here are a few warning signs according to the experts that drivers should look for to know when to replace the brake pads;

  • Pulsing Brake Pedals

While braking to stop the car, if you feel a pulse in the pedal as you push it, then it is a sign of worn-out brake pads. Although, some people might argue that pulsing brake pedals are a sign of a damaged brake rotor or a problem in the ABS (Analog Braking System) of the car. Therefore, it is necessary to get an expert’s opinion by taking it to the local auto shop.

  • Squealing Brakes

Another way of knowing when to change your brake pads is by paying close attention to the noises made by your brake pedals as you are braking. In case you hear a loud squealing noise, then immediately change the brake pads. The noise means that the pads have worn out and gotten thin because being used up over and over again. If the pads have worn out above the 80% mark, then the wear bar indicator will keep touching the brake rotor every time you brake. 

If you continue to ignore the squealing sounds of the brakes, then the wear bar will dig into the brake rotor, forcing you to spend a more significant sum of money. Be wise and replace the pads at the right time. 

It is quite apparent that no one wishes to spend any more money than necessary, mainly if their income is already limited. Hence, get the pads changed the moment you observe any of the warning signs mentioned above to save your precious time and money altogether. It is okay to trust your car, but it is suicidal to risk your life by driving a car with failing brakes. 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE BRAKE PADS? 

There are a few factors that a person looking for new brake pads should consider before making the final decision. The kind of brake pads your car requires depends on your driving style as well as the conditions of the roads where you are most likely to drive. As mentioned before that there several options to choose from, and often, people are misled about the qualities of the pads as well. 

Here are the factors that you must understand before choosing the brakes pads you are going to get installed in your vehicle;

  • You should consider the level of the dust of the brake pads that later passes onto the wheels, making them look darker than usual. 
  • High-quality and competent brake pads should be able to perform effectively and efficiently in any kind of weather conditions. The car should be able to stop quickly whether the road is dry, wet, muddy, cold, or warm.
  • The most important thing you should consider is the noise and the vibration caused by the brake pads when you press the pedals. The pedals should feel smooth, and there should not be any pulse while braking. 
  • A person getting new brake pads should see how long they will last before demanding a replacement. 
  • Brake rotors and brake pads work together to stop the car, and both of them tend to wear out over time. You should also consider the life of the rotor as durability plays a significant role when it comes to the efficiency of the braking system. High-quality brake pads and rotors are made of durable material. 
  • The brake pads should give equally better performance and produce the desired friction regardless of the temperature to stop the car effectively. 
  • The ‘maximum operating temperature’ is the highest temperature that the brake pads can read before they stop working properly. Be aware of this while selecting the new brake pads to feel safe while driving.
  • Carefully note down the amount of force that needs to be applied to the pedal to stop the car in a normal situation, as well as an emergency one. Good pads should require either the same or a bit more pressure to stop the car in an emergency than usually. 

You can figure out some of these qualities before selecting the new brake pads while others could be discovered while using them. However, it is your job to ask all the right questions from the sellers, so you know what you are getting into. 

TYPES OF BRAKE PADS 

Indeed, one should only listen to the manufacturers’ advice to get the right replacement parts for their vehicles. The best brake pads are still the ones that are installed by the manufacturer of your car, so getting the original ones to replace the worn-out ones is a right choice. 

The brake pads you are about to get are most likely to be made out of 3 types of materials. The type of material used depends solely on the kind of car you drive. Let’s take a look at three of the most common types of brake pads available in the market. 

  1. Ceramic Brake Pads 

These are the latest ones in the market that were first introduced in the late 80s as the manufacturers wanted to find a suitable replacement for the asbestos pads. A hardened ceramic material combined with copper fibers is used to manufacture these pads, which tend to have a longer life than the other two types. Moreover, these are very efficient and do not require too much pressure on the pedals. 

However, these brake pads are quite expensive and fail to perform in cold weather conditions as the ceramic material is prone to cracks. 

  1. Organic Brake Pads 

At first, the brake pads were manufactured from asbestos, which is a hard but toxic material that was banned as it supposedly caused various respiratory diseases. Later, the pads were manufactured with the help of carbon, rubber, fibers, and glass. Organic brake pads are usually installed in lightweight luxury vehicles and require very soft pressure applications. They do not make any unusual sounds upon usage but are also not very durable.

  1. Semi-Metallic Brake Pads 

You will find these brake pads in most of the cars that you see today on the roads. Semi-metallic brake pads are made from copper, iron, and steel along with some graphite lubricants to help control the increment of heat. 

These types of brake pads have higher durability and are able to control friction entirely, which makes them an ideal choice for heavy-duty trucks and SUVs. Trawlers and big trucks use these brake pads to be able to stop accurately without risking anyone’s life. 

These are the three types of brake pads that are available in the market today, and you must understand all the pros and cons mentioned above of each one of them. Having the basic knowledge of brake pads is crucial so you can make a right choice, save money, and stay safe. 

TIPS FOR BUYING AFTERMARKET BRAKE PADS

It is essential to understand that it is not written anywhere that you must always replace the brake pads of your car with the original ones provided by the automotive manufacturers. You can also purchase the ones offered by aftermarket manufacturers if it suits your car and wallet. Installing original brake pads is only recommended so that you can sell your car at a reasonable price in the future. 

It is okay to install aftermarket brake pads that are available in the market, but you should always choose them carefully. Here are a few things you should be careful about while selecting some aftermarket brake pads of your vehicle; 

  • Brake pads are bound to worn out due to continuous usage, but if they have warranties, then it supposedly means that the aftermarket pads are of high-quality. A lot of sellers offer warranties on brake pads, so make sure to go over their policies. 
  • Effective brake pads ensure your safety, and buying them from a cheap manufacturer can be risky. Always buy the brake pads of well-renowned manufacturers that have somewhat of a brand image in the market. 
  • One should always look for two important certifications that are offered on the aftermarket brake pads. Differential Effectiveness Analysis (D3EA) is the first one, while the other one is 

‘Brake Effectiveness Evaluation Procedures’ (BEEP). Keep an eye out for both these certifications while buying aftermarket brake pads. 

Regardless of the brake pads you choose, the most important part remains the installation process. Always choose a professional mechanic who knows his/her way around a car instead of the one who only pretends to be of help. It might require you to pay more, but it is a small price to pay for staying safe while driving. 

FINAL WORDS

In today’s world of the internet, access to information about everything has become very easy. You can just google your problem, and it will show you thousands of possible solutions. Being unaware of anything is not an option; therefore, one should also have all the necessary knowledge about the brake pads of their cars. 

Sellers often try to mislead you and sell you unsuitable brake pads that will demand replacement within a few months. Moreover, finding a good mechanic to install the brake pads is also essential as it is a complicated task. Ignoring even the minor details can be risky and cause the brakes not to work properly. 

Enough emphasis is done on the importance of an efficient braking system and how it helps you feel safe on roads throughout the article. Go over all the information given above and select good brake pads for your car that will work whenever you need them to.   

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