How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

Your vehicle’s brakes are essential to its functionality and your safety. This means all the parts that contribute to your car’s braking system must be working properly at all times, including your brake pads.

Make sure your brake pads are in good condition by checking them regularly and replacing them when needed. By adjusting your driving habits, you can help your brake pads last longer.

how long do brake pads last - quelle est la duree de vie des plaquettes de freins

What Do Brake Pads Do?

When you press your car’s brake pedal, the brake pads contact the brake disc/rotor or the brake drum to create friction to slow the car down.

Every time you activate the brakes, the brake pads lose a tiny amount of material, and they will eventually wear thin. When this happens, they can’t generate the heat caused by friction as effectively, meaning your car will take longer and longer to come to a complete stop.

How Long Do They Last?

Most brake pads will last three to seven years, or between 30,000 km and 75,000 km. This lifespan can vary depending on:

  • The type of brake pads
  • How often you drive
  • Where you typically drive
  • How you drive

Frequent driving on congested highways or in highly populated cities, for example, will wear your brakes faster than driving in rural areas. Your brake pads will also wear faster if you have an automatic transmission and if you often hit your brakes suddenly instead of slowly coming to a stop.

How to Make Brake Pads Last Longer

One of the best ways to extend the life of your brake pads is to service them. Do this at least once every six months. To help you remember, you can combine brake servicing with tire rotation. We have a full guide on how to service your brakes here. When doing any kind of DIY work, remember to wear protective equipment, including gloves and goggles.

Aside from regular servicing, you can adjust your driving habits to get the most out of your brake pads:

  • Slow down! The #1 cause of early brake wear is sudden braking from high speeds.
  • Don’t drive with both feet (left foot on brake and right foot on accelerator.) This can lead to “brake taps,” causing premature wear.
  • Leave a generous following distance between yourself and the car in front so you can coast as much as possible.
  • Avoid keeping heavy objects in your car for extended periods or adding excessive, flashy upgrades. Both can weigh down your car, putting more strain on the brakes.

when to replace brake pads - quand faut il remplacer les plaquettes de frein

When to Replace Brake Pads

Even with the best care, your brake pads will eventually need to be replaced. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it’s likely time for a change:

  • Squeaking, squealing, grinding, or clicking sounds coming from the brakes
  • Vibration when braking
  • Delayed braking time
  • Brake pad indicator light coming on
  • Brake pads look less than ¼ inch thick

To learn how to replace your own brake pads, follow this guide. Alternatively, you can have them replaced by a professional mechanic at a NAPA AUTOPRO Centre. Replace your front and rear brake pads at the same time: don’t set aside one or two because some of your current brake pads are more than a ¼ inch thick, for example.

Choosing Brake Pads

Before you can replace your brake pads, you’ll need to buy a new set. Bear in mind that picking the wrong brake pads may not only lead you to have to replace them more often, but can also jeopardize your safety.

The cost of brake pads can vary, but they typically go for $35 to $100.

At NAPA, we carry four kinds of brake pads: regular, premium, specialty, and fleet. Most are ceramic, but we also carry semi-metallic brake pads. Check out this article to find the best ones for you and your vehicle. You can find reviews of NAPA brake pad brands on each product page.

If you have any questions about caring for your brake pads, visit a NAPA Auto Parts store to speak with an expert.

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