- Why do some people advise against brake pad repair? Why do they prefer replacement when this can cost more money?
Replacing or adjusting the brake pads is considered a safer and better option instead of attempting a repair since this may not be for the long term. In the end, you’ll be spending more money and won’t have peace of mind. You shouldn’t take a risk with your driving safety.
- What’s the typical lifespan of brake pads? Do they wear out faster or around the same time as the brake discs/rotors? What leads to their eventual wear and tear?
The brake pad’s condition may be affected by various factors like the type of brake pad and rotor used, driving style, road condition, type of vehicle, and brake system maintenance. Brakes usually wear out faster for vehicles that are driven in stop and go traffic. The type of road is also a factor in the wear and tear of the brake pads. Most would say that brake pads would last about 50,000 miles or anywhere between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. Some, however, would go as long as 75,000 to 100,000 miles.
- Even with a new brake pad set installed in my car, I’ve been hearing some squeals when braking. What could possibly be causing this?
Brake squeals could be coming from vibrations caused by brake parts in contact. With some brake pads, this may be common because of the harder material used in the new pads. In other brake pad replacements, however, the edges of the pad material are cut at certain degree to make sure that the pads won’t be vibrating against the disc. This will prevent vibrations from the pad and caliper piston when the brakes are applied. If the rotors/discs are replaced or resurfaced as needed, this will help the pads wear in better.
To avoid vibrations, anti-squeal compound may be used for coating the back of the pads; anti-squeal shims are another option. It’s best if the caliper glides/pins are cleaned and lubricated with new grease when installing the brake pads.
- Do you need to add grease during brake pad change?
Applying some grease when changing the brake pads will help in preventing brake squeals and in preventing rust and corrosion from developing. You have to apply it, though, on the back side of the pads, and not the front, as this might affect brake efficiency.
- Ceramic brake pads vs. semi-metallic types—what are the advantages of using ceramic pads?
As opposed to semi-metallic pads, ceramic brake pads give you cleaner wheels because they don’t create too much dust. They’re also known to be quieter. However, these are more expensive.
- What’s the cause of brake dust? Why do some create less or more dust than others?
Some brakes contain formulas that help reduce brake dust. That’s why some pads produce less dust than others. For those that create a lot of dust, petroleum hydrocarbons may be used as glue or part of the adhesive.
When metallic brake pads get heated, they create dust. The particles that cause a static charge may stick to the wheels. They get magnetized from heat and friction. If there are issues with the rotor/disc or other brake components, even low-dust pads may give off a lot of dust.
- How can I tell or figure out if new brake pads are needed?
Screeching, grinding, or clicking when you brake is a typical sign of wear. Pulsations in the brake pedal may also be a symptom of a faulty brake pad. The vehicle pulling to one side when braking means that brake pads need to be checked. Upon visual inspection, you may find out that the pads are already too thin and need to be replaced. Deep grooves or scores in the rotor/disc also indicate brake pad wear.