Brake pads are an essential element in vehicle safety, and you should always make sure they are properly checked and regularly replaced. Read on to discover all you need to know about brake pads, and trust the experts at Hansma Automotive with all your needs in this area - by providing good, old-fashioned customer service over the years, Hansma Automotive has gained a loyal following in the community. Many hundreds of area residents have come to depend on our team, and to rely on the technical expertise of our friendly staff to keep their family vehicles in peak running condition.
Everything You Need To Know About Brake Pads
1. What are Brake Pads and What Do They Do?
To answer the latter question first, let's turn to the experts at How Stuff Works:
"Brake pads are a key brake part because they are the component that contacts and applies pressure and friction to a vehicle's brake rotors -- those flat, shiny discs that you can sometimes see just behind the wheels of some vehicles. The pressure and friction applied to the brake rotor is what slows and stops the wheel. Once the wheels stop turning, the vehicle stops moving, too."
Wikipedia adds there are four main types of brake pads, depending on the intended use of your vehicle: non-metallic, semi-metallic, fully metallic, and ceramic. There are also five important characteristics to consider when selecting the right material:
The material's ability to resist brake fade
The effects of water on brake fade (all brakes are designed to withstand at least temporary exposure to water)
The ability to recover quickly from either increased temperature or moisture
The ability of the material to provide smooth and even contact with the rotor or drum (instead of a material that breaks off in chunks or causes pits or dents).
Most manufacturers recommend specific kind of brake pads for your vehicle, so be sure to consult the manual for what's indicated for your car.
2. When Should Brake Pads Be Replaced?
It's important to remember that, as a result of how fast your vehicle's wheels rotate and how much a typical car or truck weighs, brake pads undergo extreme stress every time you slow down or come to a stop. Brake pads, therefore, need to be changed regularly to prevent fade and to remain effective.
Most brake pads are equipped with a method of alerting you as to when this needs to be done. It's common to include a thin strip of soft metal in a groove so that when exposed (due to wear), your brakes will squeal. Others have an embedded soft metal tab in the pad material that closes an electric circuit and lights a dashboard warning light when the brake pad wears thin.
Click here to read more on when you should get your brakes checked.
3. What Are The Best Car Brake Pads?
Due to the nature of their function, investing in the right brake pads is key in order to get the best slowing and stopping performance for your vehicle and indeed to keep you and your family safe. Car Bibles recently updated their list of the top rated car brake pads for 2018, and here are the top 3 (with product descriptions via Amazon):
ACDelco 17D1367CH Professional Ceramic Front Disc Brake Pad Set: "ACDelco Professional Ceramic Brake Pads are engineered to help resist corrosion and premature wear and are the high quality replacement ideal for many vehicles on the road today."
Bosch BC905 QuietCast Premium Ceramic Rear Disc Brake Pad Set: "The QuietCast Premium Disc Brake Pad program offers top quality, availability, competitive pricing, and full coverage for all makes and models of Domestic, Asian, and European automobiles, light trucks, and SUVs."
Wagner ThermoQuiet QC1324 Ceramic Disc Pad Set: "Wagner ThermoQuiet brake pads feature Wagner OE21 low copper technology, setting new benchmarks for our ceramic brake pad performance." 35% quieter, 15% more stopping power, longer lasting, cleaner wheels.
The rest of the list can be seen here.
4. How Do You Replace Brake Pads?
Changing brake pads can be a do-it-yourself job, provided you have the right tools and know-how. Remember to consult your owner's manual for the right type of brake pads before attempting the job. Here's what else you will need:
Brake bleeder pump/tool
Basic hand tools & torx drives
C-clamp or caliper spreader
Wheel bearing grease
Bungee cord or 24-inch piece of wire
And here are the basic steps to follow via thoughtco:
Unbolt the caliper
Remove old brake pads
Compress the brake piston
Re-install the brake caliper
That can seem easier said than done, so here's a video tutorial that outlines the steps in more detail. If it seems too daunting, trust a professional to get the job done.
Trust Hansma Automotive For Your Brake Pads!
The leading cause of traffic accidents is brake failure, which is nearly always preventable. Stop worrying about potential failures and enjoy peace of mind by trusting the experts at Hansma Automotive. Come in for a brake safety check and we will examine:
Pads and shoes for wear
Drums and rotors for wear
Wheel cylinders and calipers for leaks
Hydraulic lines and hoses for leaks, kinks, and blockages
Fluid in the master cylinder for level and condition.
If any work is necessary, we will give you a choice of parts. Replacing worn brake pads before they damage the disks or drums is a modest cost. If you wait, you will likely have more extensive repairs and a higher cost. As a Tech-Net professional auto repair facility, Hansma Automotive is committed to serving you, our customer, with professional auto service repair at a reasonable cost. We use quality CARQUEST auto parts, guaranteed coast to coast. We stand on sound business principles and uphold high ethical standards. Our goal is to make your automotive repair experience friendly and successful.
Come in to see our shop and meet our team of mechanics, or contact us here today. We would love to meet you. We are located at 88 Shoemaker St, Kitchener, ON N2E 3G4.
"Great full service automotive shop! I've always brought all my vehicles to Hansma Automotive for any kind of repair or service needed. Everything from oil changes and brakes, to custom performance suspension and exhaust systems. They also have top quality detailing as well. They're all great mechanics and excellent customer service." - Fraser
Read more testimonials here.