How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
Updated: Mar 4
Perhaps the most commonly question we get from motorists is a simple one: how long should brake pads last? Unfortunately, there is no simple answer for this. There is no fixed lifespan for brake pads. You can find sources on the internet that say they should last 60,000km to 80,000km, maybe longer. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case in the Philippines. A survey we conducted recently showed that most Filipino motorists replace their brake pads between 25,000 to 55,000km. It is a very broad range, but this is understandable. Brake pad longevity depends heavily on a lot of factors, such as the kind of vehicle you drive, the road conditions you drive in, and your driving habits.
As a general rule, the heavier the vehicle, the greater the pad wear. However, most brake system manufacturers tailor brake pads outfitted to heavier cars by adjusting the pad compound to make it harder, or by simply making the friction material layer thicker. However, the brake pad compound cannot be made too hard, or it will likely cause noise, or wear out the brake disc much faster. In fact, it is common to see harder pad compounds, such as those with higher metal content, eat up brake discs fairly quickly. And there is only so much room between the caliper and the disc surface, and it's not possible to just make the friction layer thicker and thicker.
Road conditions play an even greater role in determining brake pad wear. If your daily commute goes through a lot of hilly roads where you apply the brakes constantly, you will wear out your brake pads - and brake discs - over a relatively short distance. Conversely, a person who does mostly highway driving, where it can be several kilometers between brake applications - will have his brake components last much, much longer. Generally speaking, hotter conditions also tend to increase brake pad wear compared to colder climates.
Perhaps the greatest factor in determining how long your brake pads last are your driving habits. A great way to increase the lifespan of your brakes is to learn to control your speed - not too fast that you have to brake often, and not too slow that you're a hazard to those around you. Driving consistent with the flow of traffic replicates highway driving for your brakes - you go through longer stretches without needing to step on the brake pedal, which then extends their useable life. This does not mean you avoid braking when you need to - by all means, if you are getting close to something in front of you, go ahead and brake! But a simple adjustment in how you drive can make a world of difference for your brakes.
Aside from driving habits, the way you use your vehicle also plays a significant role. You may have a relatively light car, but if you are constantly carrying heavy loads - whether due to having a lot of passengers or cargo - it will have the effect of adding weight to your car. And we already know increased weight means increased wear. A car used for daily driving might be driven in a more relaxed pace, but a toy car might be used a little more aggressively, and used to drive around twisty backroads, or in autocross or other light racing. And how well your car is maintained also makes a big difference. A well sorted, properly maintained vehicle will likely see its brake components last longer.
In closing, there really is no sure fire way to tell how long brake pads last. The same car with the same specifications driven up and down the same roads with different drivers can easily come up with different results. What is most important is that you have your brakes checked periodically, and watch out for your wear indicator - whether it is an audible indicator or electronic - and keep your car in excellent working condition through periodic maintenance and proper driving habits.
Do you need new brake pads? Visit our Dealer Finder to contact a Brembo Official Dealer near you, or shop online at the Brembo Official Store on Lazada. For dealership inquiries, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or send us a message in our official Facebook page.