When should brake pads be replaced?

Your driving style determines when brake pads wear out, not by years or mileage. If you’re the type who rides the brakes on downhills, follows too closely on the highway and stops short, guess what? Your brake pads will be toast before a driver who applies the brakes gently and doesn’t use the brake pedal like an on/off switch. Regardless, the early warning sign of worn brake pads is a high-pitched metallic squeal, a grinding sound or a sudden change in pedal feel during braking.

Are ceramic or metallic brake pads better?

Though metallic brake pads provide better “cold bite” before warming up, ceramic pads’ longevity and quietness make them the industry standard. Most importantly, ceramic pads offer superior protection against “brake fade,” a heat-generated condition exacerbated by hard use or multiple stop that can degrade braking performance.

How long should ceramic brake pads last?

Driving behavior ultimately determines brake pad life. On average, expect ceramic brake pads to last 60,000 miles under conservative daily driving conditions, though some can last longer. Performance brake pads favor stopping power and fade resistance over longevity and generally require replacement at shorter intervals. Additionally, drilled or slotted brake rotors can scrape brake pad material off with each pass, leading to increased wear.

Do ceramic brake pads stop better?

In normal driving conditions ceramic brake pads perform better over multiple hard stops because they naturally dissipate heat. However, extreme racing applications usually demand the instant “cold bite” that metallic pads provide at a slight advantage over ceramic brake pads. The trade-off is that metallic pads’ stopping power can fade after several intense stops due to heat.

How do you break in new ceramic brake pads?

Proper brake “bedding in” involves mating the pad material to the rotor surface in a sequence of increasingly intense near-stops. Do not come to a complete stop during the bedding-in process, which could create a brake pad imprint on the rotor surface. Once verifying that the brake system is fully functional at slow speeds, find a safe and isolated stretch of road. Accelerate to 30 mph, then firmly apply the brake, slowing the vehicle to about five mph. Repeat the process from 40 and 50 mph, and then drive several minutes to cool the rotor surface before braking normally.

What happens if you don’t break in brakes?

Most modern ceramic brake pads are engineered to break in quickly. Failure to bed in brakes properly won’t allow the pad material to mate to the rotor surface, which can cause the brake pad to glaze over and lose friction. Creating a pad imprint on the rotor by holding the brakes after a hard stop can warp the brake rotor, causing vibration when braking from speed.


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