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When should I change my brake pads?
Inspect the brake system components visually every 10.000 kilometres. Check if there are metal chips on the brake pads. If this is the case, they are severely worn. Usually the brake pads on the front axle are replaced every 25.000–40.000 km, those on the rear axle – 40.000–60.000 km. Replace the components immediately if their thickness is reduced to the limit specified in the vehicle’s technical documentation. Also, the need to install new parts is indicated by the wear sensor (if installed), screeching during braking, increased braking distance, and excessive free play or vibration of the brake pedal.
Should I replace all brake pads at once?
Brake pads are replaced as a set on an axle. This helps to ensure as efficient braking as possible. New components can be pressed to the discs tighter, thus providing faster deceleration of the wheels. Replacement of brake pads only on one side leads to impaired vehicle stability.
Can I replace brake pads myself?
Yes, you can. Before starting the work, read our PDF guides and watch our video tutorials and be sure to look at the recommendations of the car manufacturer. You will need the following tools: a lug nut impact socket, a ratchet spanner, a torque wrench, a crowbar, a brake caliper piston compressor tool, a combination spanner, a pin punch, a hammer, and round-nose pliers. Preparing your car for the repair requires wheel chocks, a lifting jack, and a cover for protection of painted body parts. Some chemical products will be necessary as well: a brake cleaner spray, copper grease, and anti-squeal paste. Don’t forget to put on a respirator, protective gloves and goggles.
The replacement procedure doesn’t take much time. An experienced driver can handle installation of the parts in 15–20 minutes per wheel. Thus, installation of the components on the front and rear wheels will take about 1–1.5 hours. A beginner may need more time. There is no need to bleed the brakes after the replacement procedure, as it doesn’t affect leak-tightness of the system.
What causes brake pads to wear quickly?
Very often, premature wear-out of the pads is caused by a malfunctioning brake caliper. Seized guide pins or pistons make it impossible to pull the pad away from the disc after braking. Thus, the part is exposed to abrasive wear and overheating. The degree of wear of the brake disc also affects the condition of the brake pads. Grooves and wear lips on its surface cause uneven wear of the pads. In some cases the parts can get deteriorated due to ingress of foreign objects, for instance, small gravel, between the rubbing surfaces. Driving style is another cause of premature wear-out. Frequent abrupt braking, driving on mountain spiral roads can lead to overheating of the components. Therefore, preferable for sport driving are high performance brake pads which retain their operating properties at extremely high temperatures.