How Long Do Brake Pads Last?

Most of the car owners are curious to know - How long do brake pads last? To be honest, there’s no easy answer for how long brake pads should last. Because it’s different for every driver and driving style, same as how you can burn gas faster than others. Quick starts, short trips, city driving: all burn gas faster than usual and steady driving.

Same with your brake pads. Manufacturers offer a wide range for the effective “life” of their brake pads, typically between 25,000 and 65,000 miles. But the way you drive has a lot of impact on brake pad wear.

Estimating Brake Pad Life

Even between most experienced mechanics, drivers and engineers there is no clear answer to that question. In general, brake pads last 25,000 to 65,000 miles, sometimes up to about 60,000 miles. Different factors, like more frequent highway driving and the material of the pads themselves, can certainly provide extra life to pads.

You are the one who can extend the life of your car’s brakes. Don’t look at the manufacturer promises, online reviews, word-of-mouth information, and a thousand other sources. Just try not to drive too fast, drive slowly and steady. If you are a lover of high speed, then you will get a warning sign that you need new brakes soon, doesn’t matter how many miles your vehicle passed.

Driving Style - A Huge Factor in Brake Pad Longevity

If you want to get the most miles out of your brake pads, consider the following three suggestions:

  1. Drive slow and steady. Because of high speed and fast braking which generates a lot of friction, brake pads can get worn out quickly.

  2. Lose some weight. Truck drivers usually carry a lot of stuff in their trunk, for example, the bed. If you take a lot of things then the brake pads have to work harder to stop your car.

  3. Check your brake fluid. Always check the brake fluid on time because a lack of brake fluid can cause to the failure of the brake system.

A Word on Brake Pad Material - Another Factor in Brake Pad Life

Brake pad life also depends on a material it is made of. There are two types of them:

Ceramic pads are made of almost the same material such as ceramic cookware or dishes, but the material is denser and a lot more durable. Ceramic brake pads also have fine copper fibers embedded within them, to help increase their friction and heat conductivity. Because of soft and light material, ceramic brake pads generate less dust, noise and will work longer.

Semi-Metallic pads are typically made from a mixture of iron, copper, steel, and graphite that are all bonded together. They are harder and more durable and are the best choice for heavier vehicles.

So which ones are better? Again, it all depends on you. We can just recommend which one to choose. If you want better stopping, then choose ceramic pads. If you need long life brake pads then go with semi-metallic one. But Technology never stops, it continues improving the quality and performance of both brake pad types. A quarter of a century ago we could drive with the same brake pad set 15,000 to 25,000 miles only, today we hope these numbers will increase at least double.

A lot of factors can affect how long your brake pads will live. It can be driving style, brake pad material, even external driving conditions. The quality of all these brake pads depends on a cost which you pay for them. Low price means less quality, cheap material, and design. Don’t try to save money on your brake pads and rotors, because it can be one more reason why they don’t last too long.

Read more brake components related articles in our Tech Tips section: “ What is Brake Fade? ”, “ Brake Kits ”, “ Disc brake guidelines ”, “ Brake Warning Indicator Lamp on ”.