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When Should We Change the Brake Pads?

By Jwallace10 Subscribe to RSS | July 26th 2012 | Views:
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Brake pads are fundamental components in the braking systems of modern cars, and a large part of our safety on the road depends on them. In fact, brake pads are so important that they are among the parts included in the MOT requirements for all UK cars, and are an element checked regularly as part of car servicing.

In essence, brake pads are metal plates with a rectangular or semi-circular shape, whose function is to create friction on the brake disc. Depending on the pressure that is created, the wheels slow down or stop completely. As you may suppose, friction between the surface of the pad and the disc gradually creates wear on the pads, so it is essential to check their state regularly and change them if necessary.

The Different Types of Brake Pads and Their Duration

There are currently several different types of brake pads on the market, some of which are more durable than others. Metallic or semi-metallic pads are composed of materials like iron; they are usually very resistant over time, but their main inconvenience is that they give off a great deal of heat during braking, meaning that they can damage other parts of the car. In contrast, organic and ceramic pads offer greater adherence when braking and emit less heat, but have the downside that they should be changed more frequently.

As a general rule, metallic or semi-metallic brake pads usually have a useful life that extends up to 10,000 miles, while organic or ceramic ones usually last about 6000 miles. However, these are just rough numbers, since the duration of the brake pads will depend on the way in which one drives. If you usually brake quickly or you go down winding roads downhill regularly, this will lead to greater wear.

The Warning Signs

Some signs exist that will help you to tell when it is necessary to change the brake pads. One unequivocal signal that something is not working right is an increase in braking distance. In this case, or if you hear an unusual sound when braking, almost always with a metallic accent, this usually indicates that the covering on the pads has worn down and they should be changed immediately.

Additionally, most modern cars have a warning system that will tell you automatically if the system is wearing down, before your safety is endangered. A warning light usually comes on to indicate that the state of the brake pads is worse than that recommended by the manufacturer and that it is time to change them.

Jwallace10 - About Author:
Jesse Wallace writes for a digital marketing agency. This article on brake pads has been commissioned by a client of said agency. This article is not designed to promote, but should be considered professional content.

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