Brakes are crucial for slowing your car down: whether it’s abruptly to avoid a collision, or gently to stop at traffic lights. They are crucial for safety, not just yours, but also of other road users around you. So, it makes sense to ensure they are well maintained.
When your foot pushes the brake pedal down, it pushes against the master cylinder. This is basically a piston surrounded by brake fluid. The fluid moves down the brake lines where it forces the caliper to squeeze a pair of brake pads against a brake disc. This, in turn, slows the wheel down. The energy released from stopping your car’s motion is converted into waste heat, which has to be dispersed. As the disc has a relatively quick cooling time, this type of brake offers a better stopping performance than drum brakes and is widely used in current car models.
Considering the amount of times that you brake during an average car journey, it’s no wonder that brake pads and discs need to be replaced periodically.
Generally, there’s no fixed interval for replacing your brakes, as the duration of the brake components depends upon the vehicle as well as upon your driving style. Brakes can last up to 80 000kmor more, but can be as low as 25 000 – 30 000 km in the case of heavy duty use. Your owner’s manual will have more information about the recommended intervals for brake replacements of your car’s make and model.
It is important to note; if the discs are unevenly worn or badly scored, it is recommended to replace your brake pads and brake discs at the same time.