Brake Pad Selection for Your Car


Brake pads compliment disc brakes used in automotion and other applications. Brake pads are steel backing plates with friction material bound to the surface that touches the brake disc.

Two brake pads are contained in the brake caliper with their friction surfaces facing the brake disc. The caliper squeezes the two pads together into the spinning brake disc so that they can slow/stop the vehicle.

Although almost all road vehicles have only two brake pads per caliper, racing calipers utilise up to six pads, with varying frictional properties for the best performance. Depending on the properties of the material, disc wear rates may differ. Brake pads can be viewed as a consumable car part and need to be replaced regularly. Brakes in themselves are many individual parts that work together to respond to the actions of the driver so that the vehicle can slow down or stop. A crucial part of these components is the brake pads and without the right ones the stopping distance of any car is severely restricted.

The brake pad itself works by creating a constant friction between the pad and the car's brake discs. These are commonly recognized as dinner plate sized metal discs that sit within the wheel housing. As the brake is applied by the driver the brake pad is forced against the brake disc and this contact creates enough friction between the two surfaces to apply a slowing momentum on the wheel. The driver presses on the brake pedal hard so the pad and the disc come together closely, which gives greater friction and a greater stopping force.

Due to the different specifications of cars and even heavier vehicles such as trucks there is a direct correlation to the type of pad that is required based on the type of vehicle? Brake pads are subjected to massive stresses and strains as they are constantly in use and under pressure to perform. If you drive the car fast or your car is heavy, the strain on the pad becomes good.

You should give your car a regular maintaince to make sure that your brakes always work. In other words, you have to change your brake pads. Before you change them, you need to know what kind of brakes you have. There are two different types of braking systems: disc brakes and drum brakes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but we won't get into that. You just need to know that, on most cars, disc brakes are on the front and drum brakes are on the back. And since 90% of the brake pads that you'll ever change in your life will be on the front; that will be our area of focus.

Disc brakes are the most effective system for stopping a vehicle. They utilize a caliper to apply the brake pads on either side of the rotor to halt wheel motion. Unless blocked by wheel rims, you can see them through the spokes on your wheels. This is the first way that you can tell if you need to do a brake reline. If the pads are less than 1/4 inch thick, you'll need to replace them soon. If they're less than 1/8 inch thick, get out the tools right then and there. The other way to tell that you need to reline your brakes is by listening to them. Noise-making devices are built into the pads to let you know when they need changing. If you hear a screeching sounds when you apply the brakes, you're due for a reline. If it sounds more like metal scraping metal, you've probably already damaged your rotor and need to replace the pads immediately if not the rotor as well.