How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

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Brake Pads

All vehicle owners should know how important it is to keep up with a regular maintenance schedule. Properly maintaining your vehicle will increase its dependability and safety in addition to prolonging its lifespan. Unfortunately, staying on top of all the maintenance your vehicle needs can get confusing and stressful. Many car owners end up asking themselves questions like, “how long do brake pads last?”

We’re here to answer that question so you can hopefully avoid bad brake pads in the future.

How Many Miles do Break Pads Last?

The lifespan of your pads will depend on several factors. What type you’re using (ceramic brake pads, organic, or semi-metallic), the type of transmission in your car, your driving environment, your driving habits, and more all affect how long your pads will last.

As with many car parts, it’s best to measure the lifespan of brake pads in miles traveled rather than years. In general, you can expect these pads to last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. In unusual cases, they may last up to 100,000 miles.

Ceramic vs Semi-metallic Brake Pads

As mentioned previously, the type of brake pads you have in your vehicle plays a major role in how long the pads will last. If you want to get the highest possible mileage out of them, then you should consider selecting the type of brake pads that lasts the longest. But which is that?

On the whole, ceramic brake pads last longer than other options. They’re usually more expensive than semi-metallic brake pads, but you will get more miles out of them. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether that trade-off is worth it.

The other popular brake pad option is semi-metallic brake pads. One of the biggest advantages of using semi-metallic pads over ceramic is that they’re considered the best in terms of stopping power.

Semi-metallic pads are between 35 and 65 percent metal and usually include copper, iron, and steel. They perform well in extreme temperatures but are noisier than ceramic brake pads.

How to Tell WhenHow to tell when brake pads are bad Brake Pads are Bad

We’ve established that the answer to the question “how long do brake pads last?” is it depends. Since there’s so much variation in how long exactly that they last, you may wonder how to tell when your pads have gone bad. Here are some signs to look out for:

Vibrating When You Use the Brakes

If you can feel your car (or the brake pedal, specifically) vibrating every time you hit the brakes, that’s a sign that something’s probably wrong with your brakes. You can’t trust your brake pedal once it starts to vibrate, so you should bring your car in for servicing immediately if you notice this issue. The most likely scenario is that you need new brake pads.

Unusual Noises While Braking

If you hear unusual noises when you use your brakes such as squealing or clicking, that’s a red flag that there’s an issue with your brake pads.

Many manufacturers of brake pads include built-in “wear indicators” that are meant to alert you to the wear on your pads. When you hear the screeching noise while using your brakes, that’s your warning that your brake pads have reached the end of their lifespan.

As for clicking, that can be an indication that your pads are no longer held properly in place. You may need to replace or at least readjust them if you hear that noise.

Your Car Pulls to the Side When Braking

There are brake pads on each of your vehicle’s wheels and they won’t necessarily wear out at the same rate. If they begin to wear unevenly, that can lead to the nose of your car pulling to the left or the right when you use the brakes.

Other issues may cause this symptom, but you should have your mechanic check your brake pads if this happens. You may need to replace one or more of your pads.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should brake pads be replaced?

Brake pads should be replaced after 30,000 to 70,000 miles. If you notice one of the signs of brake problems listed above before then, bring your car in for servicing. You might need to replace your brake pads before the 30,000-mile point in some cases.

How many brake pads does a car have?

Although it seems like a simple question, the answer actually depends on the vehicle. A typical car these days has eight brake pads, two pads on each wheel. It’s also possible for a vehicle to have only four brake pads, though. Supercars or high-end vehicles can even have up to four pads per wheel (sixteen brake pads total).

How long do ceramic brake pads last?

Ceramic brake pads generally last longer than semi-metallic. You can expect them to last for around 70,000 miles.

How long does it take to change break pads

As a result of the various components that make the brake system up being a normal wear item, it will eventually need to be changed out and with a mechanic it usually takes about 30 minutes to an hour to complete. 

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