Brake pads are a working part of the braking system which slows the speed of the wheels by rubbing against the wheel surface or brake disc. Replacing the brake pads is a simple procedure that can be performed by a novice car enthusiast without any experience in this area.
Each part of the vehicle has a service life which decreases over time. Brake pad wear depends on a number of factors and the brake pads will need to be replaced after a different length of time in each case.
Causes of brake pad wear will be:
- the quality of the roads on which the car is being driven;
- driving style;
- temperature conditions during the year;
- if the brake pads have already been replaced, the quality of this work will affect the life of the parts.
The brake system should be checked every 10 thousand kilometres. Emphasis is placed on the braking behaviour of the pads, how smoothly they brake, and whether there are any squeaks or other unusual noises. The change for vehicles with automatic transmission and manual transmission is slightly different in terms of mileage. In mechanics the pads should be replaced every 30-50 thousand km, while for automatic transmission the wear is more noticeable and the replacement is done every 25-30 thousand km. The mileage for off-road vehicles is fundamentally different. Challenging road conditions (sand, mud and water) contribute to the fact that the pads wear out much earlier than the required mileage.
The front pads will wear out faster because most of the inertial force exerted by the brakes is at the front of the car. This means that it is worth replacing the front brake pads two to three times more often than the rear ones.
They must be changed in pairs – you can change them all at once, either on the front wheels or the rear ones. It is not permissible for the brake pads to be worn to different extents on each pair of wheels. It’s also a good idea to change them in good time as worn pads severely damage the brake discs and are likely to cost several times as much to repair later.
When replacing the brake pads pay attention to the degree of wear on the various components of the brake system. The first thing to do is to check the brake discs for wear, and check the rubber covers and guide dusters for wear and tear. When the pads are replaced the brake hoses are also checked. All this is done so that if there is a leak, the cause of the leak can be remedied before the worst happens on the road.
It is difficult to describe the entire brake pad replacement process in detail as the procedure for replacing rear brake pads and replacing front pads is slightly different, especially if there is a disc or drum system, and each car model also has its own nuances. However, there are some common points:
- open the bonnet and unscrew the brake reservoir cap;
- remove the wheel;
- clean the brake mechanism from the dirt;
- unscrew the bolts (brake caliper guides or brake drum bolts) to reach the pads;
- use a screwdriver to extract the pads (brake mechanism);
- pads are replaced in pairs;
- the brake system is pumped.