How Long Do Brake Pads Last

Ford Service Center

Motor oil lasts for about 7,500 miles. A car battery is good for two to five years. But the question of how long your brake pads last is a lot harder to answer.

Learn about the variables at play and how to extend the life of your brake pads in this guide from Rountree Ford. Plus, discover the warning signs to find out if you need new brake pads in Shreveport, Bossier City, or Stonewall, LA.

How Long do Brake Pads Last

Because there are several factors that determine how long your brake pads last, the best answer we can give is: Most brake pads last anywhere from 30,000 to 70,000 miles.

One reason for this wide range is that there are multiple types of brake pads. Each type has its benefits and drawbacks.

  • Organic or composite brake pads wear down quickly and produce a lot of dust, but they’re also gentler on your rotors.
  • Ceramic brake pads last a little longer and offer responsive performance but can be costly.
  • Semi-metallic brake pads generally last the longest but can be noisy depending on what type of metal they’re made of.

How well you maintain your brake system also plays a role in how long the brake pads last. Issues with things like your calipers, brake lines, or master cylinder can all lead to uneven wear on your brake pads, meaning they won’t last as long.

Driving style also has a major impact on brake pad longevity. If you frequently find yourself in stop-and-go traffic, your brakes won’t last as long as someone who cruises down the highway at a steady pace. Similarly, your brakes will wear out more quickly if you tow heavy loads, because more mass requires more stopping power.

How to Make Brake Pads Last Longer

In general, sudden stops wear out your brakes more quickly. Coming to a smooth, slow stop, on the other hand, will make your brakes last longer.

This means that if you see a red light coming up, you should take your foot off the gas sooner. That way, your car will naturally start to slow down before you hit the brakes. As a bonus, this will also make your car more efficient on fuel.

Of course, the faster you’re going, the harder you’ll have to brake to come to a full stop—so obeying the speed limits will also help your brake pads last longer.

Signs You Need New Brake Pads

Luckily, it’s usually pretty clear when you need new brake pads. Ever hear that squealing sound when someone hits the brakes? This means the pads have worn down to an indicator tab, which is built in to alert you when it’s time to replace them.

Replacing your brake pads before they start squealing can help protect your rotors, so it’s still important to visually check them twice a year or so. If your brake pads have less than ¼ inch left, it’s time to replace them.

Not sure what that looks like? Ask your service technician to check them out for you whenever you stop in for an oil change or other automotive service.

We’ll Check Your Brakes for You!

If it’s been a while since you last changed your brake pads, head to Rountree Ford for a quick brake system check. We’ll make sure your car has plenty of stopping power for your trips through Shreveport, Bossier City, and Stonewall. Contact us today to learn more or schedule an appointment!

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