Brake pads are critical to the safety of your car so it makes sense to know when they should be replaced. You’ll also need them to be in good condition for your car to pass its MOT which means they should be clean and at least 1.5mm thick.
How long do brake pads last?
How long your brake pads last depends on several factors. Ceramic brake pads are the most robust followed by pads made using metallic materials. Organic pads are short lived and will need replacing regularly.
How long your brake pads last will also depend on the style of driving you usually do. Stop-start driving in built-up city traffic is far more wearing on your brakes than motorway driving. Similarly, the more towing and carrying heavy loads you do, the more quickly your brake pads will wear down.
Another factor is your car’s braking system which will engage the front brakes first meaning those pads will wear more quickly. That’s why you need to check them regularly, as they can last anywhere between 25,000 and 70,000 miles.
How can I check my brake pads?
Checking your brake pads is essential to make sure your vehicles pass the MOT. Without this you won’t be able to get the best deal on motor trade insurance from a comparison website like https://www.quotemetoday.co.uk/motor-trade-insurance.
Keep an eye on any warning lights as they’ll tell you the state of your brakes – take your car for an MOT with the warning light showing and it’s an automatic fail. It’s also fairly easy to eyeball the brake pads yourself or use a drinking straw to measure – you should be able to see at least 3 mm of brake pad showing on each wheel. If you can’t, take it to your local garage for a checkup.
Another good indicator is the way the brakes feel when you’re driving. If they’re spongy when you press the brake pedal or you hear a squealing or grating sound, your brakes need attention. If your car pulls to one side, this can be another sign that the pads are wearing out.
Never attempt to change or fit brake pads yourself, unless you’re a qualified motor mechanic. You can invalidate your car warranty or risk the safety of your passengers if they’re incorrectly fitted.