When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, the brake pads squeeze the brake rotors to slow down or stop your vehicle. The brake pads themselves are made of friction material with a metal backing. Some luxury vehicle may also have a wear indicator attached to the back of the brake pad to tell the driver when they are ready to be replaced.
There are three types of brake pads that use different friction materials: organic, metallic, and ceramic. Organic material pads are the cheapest but also wear out the quickest. They are made from a mixture of a variety of fibers and resin, which allows the brake pads to operate with minimal noise. Metallic material pads are made up of at least 70% metal and include materials such as iron, copper, and steel. They last longer than organic material pads, however they are much louder as well. Ceramic material brake pads are considered to be the highest quality brake pads. With high quality does come high cost and both ceramic and metallic material pads will add some wear to the brake rotors themselves.
Signs of bad brake pads
- Dashboard warning lights illuminate
- Brakes are less effective
- High-pitched noise when braking
- Pulsation in brake pedal or steering wheel
- Low brake fluid level
Brake pad maintenance
If you notice any of the above signs, get your brake system serviced by a car care professional right away. The first thing your technician will do is determine if the issue is coming from worn brake pads or the brake rotors themselves. The brake rotors may also need some resurfacing or replacement. Your technician will then lift the car and swap out the brake pads as necessary.
The best way to get your brake pads changed is to book your appointment through CarAdvise. CarAdvise makes car care simple and guarantees that you’ll pay less than retail price on all car maintenance services.