Cars/Motorcycles

When to change brake pads and brake discs

When to change brake pads and brake discs

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The service life of automotive components is limited, as is the case with brake discs and brake linings. We will show you how long the components last on average and how to recognize wear in this practical car maintenance tip for when to change brake pads and brake discs.

When to change brake pads and brake discs: How long is the service life?

How long brake discs and brake pads really last in practice depends entirely on the respective models. For example, some series are known to rust early. The load of the brakes is usually different between the front and rear axles, so that not necessarily all four wheels need repair.

  • Brake discs have a comparatively long service life. High-quality brake discs often last between 100,000 and 150,000 km. With inferior products, a change may be due even after 50,000 km.
  • The significantly cheaper brake pads you usually have to change more frequently. The rubbers often only last 30,000 to 60,000 km.

Causes of wear of brake discs and brake pads

  • A change is necessary for disc brakes from a residual coating of 2 millimeters. For drum brakes, the brake pad should not be thinner than 1 millimeter. In most cases, the wear is detected early on when changing tires in the workshop. Modern cars also show the wear in the cockpit.
  • In case of persistent noises or if the car pulls aside easily, you should definitely visit a workshop. If the components are worn, you will hear the grinding. Another sign may be a light shake on the steering wheel or on the brake pedal.
  • One of the most common causes for the demise of brake discs and brake pads is the rust. This occurs when you have not moved the car for a long time. Flash rust can form within a few days if moisture gets between the brake disc and the brake pad.
  • The brake disc may also warp slightly due to overheating or a bent hub. Excessive wear of the brake pads can cause the brake to stick to the brake disc. If this is the case, you can feel the heat on the affected tire several centimeters away after a short drive.

Extend the service life of discs and pads

  • Ultimately, the lifetime depends not only on the components, but also on your driving style. Braking rather quickly rather than slowly can increase wear on the brake pads in the long run. In an average driving style, however, this should not be decisive.
  • One of the biggest enemies of the brake discs and pads is rust. If there is a slight rust on the brake disc, you can brake it relatively easily. Accelerate to 100 km / h on the motorway exit or on an empty country road and brake slightly more than usual, but do not perform full braking. Due to the strong braking, light rust dissolves in air at the latest on the third attempt.

In the next article we will show you what to look out for when changing the brake discs on the car.
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