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How Long Do Brakes Last

Your vehicle’s brakes are arguably the most important aspect to your vehicle. Without an engine or tires, your vehicle won’t move—but in reality that’s a much safer situation than if your vehicle is moving and can’t stop. So, let’s take a moment and discuss your brakes; more specifically how long brakes last and any signs you should look out for to know when it’s time to change them.

How Long do Brakes Last?

The life-span of your vehicle’s brakes will depend on three factors: what the brakes are made of, how much your vehicle weighs, and how often you drive.

  1. Break pads are made from one of four types of materials: organic, semi-metallic, metallic, or synthetic materials. Those pads made of organic fibers have a better stopping power but also wear faster whereas synthetic or semi-metallic pads won’t stop as fast but also last longer.

  2. The weight of your vehicle plays a huge factor in how long your brakes are going to last. Without getting into a lengthy post on the psychics of stopping a moving vehicle, the simple truth is that the heavier the vehicle, the harder it is to stop. In other words, the faster the break pads will wear down.

  3. While it’s fairly obvious, we’d be remiss not to mention that the length of time your brakes will last also depends on how often you use your brakes.

When Should I Get New Brakes?

The need to change your brake pads is going to fluctuate depending on how often you drive and a combination of the factors above. Common brakes pad can last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles, so there isn’t a good rule of thumb here. That said, there are some signs to look for that would indicate you are in need of brake service:

  1. Vibration when you hit the breaks. This usually means your break pads are getting worn out and/or warped.

  2. Have a look. You can see a portion of your brake pad through your wheel’s spokes. If the brake pads look very thin, about 1/4″ then it’s a good idea to change them.

  3. Noise when braking. Brake pad manufacturers install a warning system which will sound like a clicking noise or a screeching noise to warn drivers that the pad is running low.

  4. Grinding noise when braking. If you missed the previous warning, or ignored it, you could end up in a situation where you hear a grinding noise when you break. This noise is the rotor and caliper rubbing together, and it means you need new brakes right now. Otherwise you’ll be replacing your rotors too.

  5. Car pulls one way while braking. This usually means brake pads have worn un-evenly and need replacing.

In addition to listening out for these signs, we strongly recommended you keep regularly scheduled vehicle maintenance appointments with your Maryland mechanic. By partnering with a trusted mechanic, you can rest assured your vehicle will be thoroughly inspected at each maintenance appointment and any potential issues addressed and corrected.

Hillmuth Auto Care is a Maryland auto mechanic and brake specialist with experienced technicians who will keep your vehicle running safely and efficiently for many years. To schedule and appointment to correct and brake issues or other auto repair services, visit one of our service locations or fill out the form on our website, today!

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