Your brakes are arguably the most important safety feature in your car. It’s the pedal we slam our foot on in an emergency, and even when driving slowly through town, they keep us out of mischief.
Just like all parts on your car, your brakes need regular maintenance and eventual replacement. An annual MOT and service will highlight any potential problems with your brake pads and discs, but if you’re not at MOT, it’s well worth getting them checked if you have any worries.
We’ve made comparing quotes for brake pad replacement super easy. Just use our quick and simple tool to find the best price near you.
What are brake pads?
The brake pad is a small, flat surface that’s fitted to either side of the brake calliper on each wheel of your car. When you press the brake pedal, the brake pads are pushed against the brake discs, causing friction, which slows the wheels down and stops the car. It’s this friction, however, that wears the pads down over time, which is why they need replacing when they get too thin.
The good news is that most garages these days offer free brake checks. They’ll have a look over your pads, discs and full braking system. They’ll then let you know what needs doing before they start work.
The average cost for brake pad replacement in the UK is between £140 – £400. However, the cost of replacing brake pads really does depend on your car, labour costs in your area, and the level of work needed. You may need just the front or just the rear pads replaced, or you might need both front and rear to be replaced. You could also need just the pads replaced, or it might be discs as well.
It also depends on the type of brake pads you choose. There are several, each with their own cost. Organic pads are the cheapest, but last the least time. Price and longevity increases with low metallic and semi-metallic, but the most expensive and longest-lasting are ceramic brake pads.
Comparing quotes in your local area is the best way to get a good deal that’s suitable for your car. Get started with our tool and book online.
Again, the lifetime of your brake pads comes with a lot of variables, including your car, how you drive, where you drive, the weight of your car, and of course, how much you drive.
Well maintained brake pads can last anywhere between 30,000 – 70,000 miles, but the biggest factor is the way the vehicle is driven. Safe driving will result in longer-lasting brake pads.
The legal limit for brake pads is 1.5mm, however, most mechanics will advise you to replace your pads once they reach 3mm thin. New pads are 10mm thick, so by the time they’re down to 3mm, they’ve put up with a lot. Mechanics will also check for uneven wear on your pads, as this can be an indicator of a more serious brake fault.
Some cars have a brake warning light on the dash, which is handy. But for cars that don’t, keep an ear out for squealing, screeching, grinding or vibrating when you brake. These are all clear indicators that your brakes need attention. You can also get down and have a look at the pads. On some wheels you can look through the wheel spokes to see how thick the outside pads are.
The best way is to take your car into a local garage for a free brake check. Reputable garages will only advise you to have them changed if they need doing.
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