When to replace brake pads in millimeters and brakes FAQNovember 15, 2022
Are you in the camp of doing preventative maintenance on your brakes and conducting regular inspections? Then you will likely want to know when to replace your brake pads based on millimeters of wear, and the number of kilometres you’ve driven on the same set so far. When talking brakes, questions about brake fluid come up too which we address below.
When to replace brake pads in mm
When talking about mm in relation to brake pads, we are talking about the thickness of the lining on the pad — what actually creates the friction between the rotor and allows the vehicle to stop. A new brake pad is 10-12mm thick. Most mechanics and dealers agree that you should replace your brake pads when they wear down to 3mm or 4mm. Plus, at around the 3mm wear range, your brake pads will start to generate a squeaking sound, warning you that the replacement time is here. Don’t ignore these sounds, as a bare brake pad on your rotor will damage it and can even warp your rotor due to overheating.
Signs it’s time to replace your brake pads
- Squealing or squeaking sound when braking
- Metal-on-metal grinding sound when braking or driving
- Car vibrating when braking
- Cushy or soft brake pedal
- Slower or less effective brake performance
How often to change brake pads in km
Now that we have determined you need to change your brake pads when they wear down to 3mm or 4mm of thickness, let’s see how long a typical brake pad set lasts you in terms of kilometres. Of course, this depends on how you drive, so with heavy-duty use, you could only get about 30,000km out of a new set of brake pads. But with casual use, mechanics and automakers say you could get 75,000km out of your brakes.
How long do brake pads last
The wear of your brake pads depends on what car you drive, the type of brake pads you have installed, the terrain you drive on, and your personal style of driving. If you drive a sports car at high speeds down and up steep hills, of course, your brake pads will wear down much faster than if you drive a regular sedan on city streets just to work and to the grocery store. Consult your car’s manual for direct instructions from your automaker.
What colour is brake fluid when it leaks?
Your car relies on many fluids to drive smoothly and to protect the engine. When something leaks, it can be hard to determine whether it’s your engine oil, brake fluid, or even just condensation from running the AC in the summer. If you come across a yellow fluid leaking out of your car, that is your brake fluid. When fresh, it is light yellow in colour and darkens over time, from age and any debris that might pollute the brake lines. If you see a dark yellow or even yellow-brown fluid leaking, don’t drive your car as your brakes are likely compromised.
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