What Are Brake Pads and Which Factors Affect Their Lifespan?

At Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, VA, we understand that every vehicle needs to have proper care and attention, which is why we are among the most trusted and experienced auto maintenance services in Northern VA. We provide auto replacement services for brake pads as well as a myriad of other services such as oil changes, tune-ups, engine repair, and much more.

Every vehicle that comes into Casey’s is subjected to a thorough safety inspection. The inspection is sent to the customer and includes photos and descriptions of the present status of their vehicle. Those inspections include the brake system, where you might be notified that your brake pads need to be replaced. This short blog will give you a general understanding of where the brake pads are located, what they are designed to do, and why replacing them as needed is a necessary element for your vehicle’s safety.

What are Brake Pads?

If you look at the wheels of some cars or trucks, you will see a flat, shiny disc. That disc is the vehicle’s rotor. On that rotor is a clamp, and in between that clamp is where you will find brake pads. When you apply pressure to the brake pedal, those brake pads clamp down on the rotors to stop the wheels from moving. If those brake pads are worn down, the clamp has a problem creating a healthy level of friction, meaning the safety of your vehicle’s brakes can be compromised. So, what factors can cause those brake pads to wear?

1. Manual or Automatic Transmission

The difference between these two types of transmission is a rather significant difference. Manual drivers will be able to change their brake pads a lot less often since they can downshift, or engine brake, their vehicle. Automatic drivers must use their brake pedal to stop or slow down, which leads them to need to change their brake pads more often.

2. Your Personal Use

Simply put, how you drive affects your brakes. If you often brake hard, then your brake pads will wear out much faster than a driver who slows down and brakes early. To avoid this, develop the habit of coasting and keeping yourself at a healthy distance from the vehicle ahead of you (a length at the distance of two cars is optimal).

3. The Material of the Pad

Brake pad material is especially important in determining its longevity. The cheaper varieties are metallic and semi-metallic, while the more expensive versions are ceramic or organic. Our advice: the safer and higher quality your brake pads are, the longer they will last. Brakes are not an area to cut corners on; it can make your vehicle a hazard to both you and the other drivers around you.

4. Dysfunctional Caliper

The brake calipers are a part of the brake system that presses the brake pads against the rotors of your wheels, which causes your brake functions to slow down. It is possible that one or more of the calipers can end up getting stuck in place keeping your brake pads against the rotor and quickly wearing them down. If you notice a consistent need to change your brake pads, be sure to have Casey’s Automotive check and replace your calipers along with new pads, as necessary.

5. Worn Out Rotors

The rotors also wear down your brake pads when they are worn or warped. Once you see it wearing out, it is best to exchange your rotors for new ones or it could cost more money down the line. Failure to replace the rotors can cause you to require more brake pad replacements meaning more money will be spent. If you are unsure of the condition of your rotors, rest knowing that our team of certified Casey’s Automotive technicians will provide you with a thorough diagnosis.

Expert Auto Maintenance Services in Chantilly, VA

When you are driving, brake pads are responsible for keeping you safe, so it is imperative for you to make sure your pads are the best condition possible. Come visit Casey’s for local auto maintenance services in Chantilly, VA. Taking care of your brakes through proper driving habits and regular maintenance will decrease the number of times you need them changed giving you peace of mind and saving you more money in the long run. To ensure that you receive quality auto maintenance services, come to Casey’s Automotive in Chantilly, VA. Our experienced technicians perform detailed inspections on every aspect of your vehicle and perform numerous replacements, refill, and repair services to solve any automotive issue you may have.

Book an appointment with one of our automotive specialists on our website or contact us at 703-802-6300.

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