Your brakes are one of the most important safety features of your vehicle and they need to be well-maintained to perform at their best level. The main parts of your brakes include the caliper, pads and rotor. The rotor and pads will wear out on your car, but how they wear varies depending on a number of factors.
What Determines How Quickly Your Brakes Wear?
There are several different factors that can impact the lifespan of your brakes. Your driving habits affect your brakes the most. If you press your brakes hard regularly or if you tend to ride your brakes while you drive, your brakes may wear more often. Smooth gradual braking improves the lifespan of your brakes. If most of your driving is in the city, stop-and-go traffic, multiple traffic lights and slower moving traffic will shorten your brake lifespan. Driving in mountainous areas with steep changes in elevation can also wear out your brakes more quickly.
Do Your Brakes Need Replacing?
The general rule is that brakes need to be replaced every 50,000 miles although some manufacturers recommend every 25,000 miles. If you don’t do much city driving, brake abruptly or drive in mountains, you may be able to go as long as every 70,000 miles before you need to change your brakes. You can ask your mechanic to look at your brakes when you have the tires rotated or the oil changed. If you hear squealing or scraping noises, your brake pads may be getting to the end of their life. If your car jitters when you brake, your rotors may be warped. In some cases, the rotor can be straightened, but it is often less expensive to simply replace the rotor.
Another factor that can determine how often you need to replace your brakes is the material of your brake pads. If your brake pads are hard, they may last longer, but they are more common in performance cars and must be warm before they work well. Soft brake pads work best in city driving, but too much heat can melt the pad compound and reduce performance. Carbon-ceramic brakes last longer than metal, but they also need to be warm to work properly. Carbon-ceramic brakes are also much more expensive than metal brakes which is why they are often only found on performance cars.
If you’ve been involved in an accident, call us today to set up an appointment or complete the simple form online. We can perform a no obligation inspection and get your brakes back into perfect working condition quickly.