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When to change the brake pads of your car?

When to change the brake pads of your car?

Having brake pads in good condition is an essential condition for driving your vehicle safely. However, it is a wearing part with a limited lifespan. Why and when to change your brake pads? In this article, you will find everything you need to know to anticipate changing your brake pads and prolong their use.

Why do you need to change brake pads?

How disc brakes work

The pads are part of the disc brake system fitted to the front wheels of your vehicle, or even all four wheels depending on the model. This device consists of:

  • A brake disc in gray cast iron, special steel, carbon or ceramic for high-end models;
  • A caliper equipped with hydraulic pistons;
  • Two brake pads per disc, inserted into the caliper.


When you press the brake pedal, the hydraulic pistons positioned on either side of the caliper exert pressure on the brake pads which bite the disc with varying intensity.

The pads consist of a steel base and a lining (friction material). It is this lining which wears out more or less quickly, depending on its composition (organic, semi-metallic, ceramic, etc.), in contact with the disc when you break.

This type of disc brake is also fitted to motorcycles and mountain bikes.



Why change your brake pads?

Wear of the lining making up the pad is the first reason to change them. The friction exerted during braking causes a loss of material from the pad lining. If they are not replaced promptly, the steel base may come into contact with the brake disc and damage it. The wear of your brake pads depends on the frequency of use of your vehicle, your driving style (gentle or jerky), your driving environment: in urban areas (heavy use of the brakes), on the highway or in rural area where traffic is smoother.


You may also need to replace your pads if your brake rotors are damaged. The disc should be replaced approximately every 100,000 km, at the same time as the pads. This also applies if the caliper is defective.


To make your travels safer, go to your Speedy auto center for a free check of your brakes and 19 other checkpoints essential to your safety, such as lighting, battery, oil level, tires, etc.


When should you replace your brake pads?

Depending on mileage

The number of kilometers traveled tells you when to replace your vehicle’s brake pads. The average lifespan of a brake pad is 35,000 km for the front axle and 70,000 km for the rear axle. This difference is explained by the fact that the front device supports 70% of the vehicle’s braking force. This average duration can vary depending on the quality of your pads and the use of your car, but mileage is a good indicator of when to replace your brake pads and avoid taking risks.

When the warning light comes on

If your pads are equipped with a wear indicator, a light will come on on your dashboard when it is time to replace your brake pads. Do not panic ! When the light comes on, you have some time to go to your Speedy center to have your pads replaced.

When we notice an anomaly

Other signs can alert you and indicate when to replace your brake pads. Abnormal noises when you operate the brake pedal or hardness indicate that you need to go to your Speedy center.

Likewise, if your braking distance increases, your vehicle shifts or there are unusual vibrations when you brake, do not hesitate to go to your nearest Speedy center. The center manager will do a free check of your brake pads and your braking system, and will intervene when replacing your brake pads is essential.

How to identify pad wear?

Several methods allow you to identify the wear of your pads and know when to replace your brake pads. The first is to check the brake fluid level. If it gets dangerously close to the lowest level, this indicates a leak in your braking device (hose, piston, etc.) or that the quantity of brake fluid necessary to exert pressure on the pads is greater and therefore that the thickness of the friction lining is too thin to ensure optimal braking.

The level of lining wear , which also determines when to replace your brake pads, can be checked visually. This is part of the checks carried out by Speedy experts who will disassemble the wheel and check the thickness of the lining through the caliper window.

How to change your brake pads?

When it is time to replace your brake pads, it is best to entrust this operation to your expert Speedy technician, who is competent and well equipped . The braking quality of a vehicle is an important safety element. By having your brake pads changed at Speedy, the center manager will take care of:

  • The diagnosis ;
  • Dismantling of used pads;
  • Replacement with quality pads;
  • Reassembly of your braking device;
  • Checking the brake fluid level, topping up if necessary…

At the end, a check will be carried out to ensure braking performance.

Our advice for preserving your brake pads

The lifespan of brake pads can be extended without reducing the performance of your braking system. Simply choose guaranteed quality pads suited to your vehicle and your driving style. When it is time to replace your brake pads, your Speedy expert technician will advise you on your choice from our range of quality products from our partner brands such as Delphi Technologies. This leading brand offers pads manufactured and tested to the same standards as original equipment.

Another tip to extend the life of your pads: adopt eco-driving! More anticipation of braking and smoother driving will preserve your vehicle and reduce your consumption. It is also advisable to use your engine braking rather than your brakes to slow down when going downhill, for example.


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