Which Brake Pad Goes On The Inside?

If you have ever tried to replace your worn-out brake pads on your car, you would know that all brake pads look alike. So which brake pad goes on the inside, and which one on the outside? Let’s find out in the article below.

Brake pads need to function efficiently to generate friction to slow down your car. However, in doing so, brake pads undergo heat and wear and tear and slowly become thin and need to be replaced. 

There are four wheels on a car, and as you may expect there are four brake pads also. However, the important thing to note is that they all look alike with minor differences. So its often very difficult to tell which brake pad goes where.

In this article, we will talk about the different types of brake pads and where to place them. Also, we have tried answering other questions such as does it matter which brake pad goes where and is it bad to use different brake pads on the same set of wheels? Read on to learn the answers.  


Which Brake Pad Goes On The Inside


Brake Pads

Brake pads play a vital role in the functioning of the car. Every brake pad brand has a little bit of a difference in the look of the brake pads. Sometimes even the location of the brake pad varies slightly. Brake pads usually come in sets of two – the R pad and the L pad. As you might have guessed, the R pad goes on the right and the L pad goes on the left.

R pads: 

With the initial letter R, you can remember that the R pad should be on the right side of your vehicle. The brake pad should be marked with the letters R and L. 

It will help you understand which side tha pads should be installed in your vehicle. Some of the brake pads don’t have any such initials. So, you can place these brake pads on either side of your car. 

L pads: 

The load is to be positioned on the left side of your vehicle. Several brake pads don’t have the letters marked, and they look alike.

So, if they do not have an L letter marked on them, it doesn’t matter which side you place them on. If it is marked with the letter L, the left goes on the outside of the car. 


You might like to read: What Does Brake Pads Per Axle Mean?


Which Pad Should I Use Outside, and Which One Inside?

Mostly, it doesn’t matter which pad goes on the outside and which one goes on the inside. As long as you got the left and right part correct, the inside and outside doesn’t matter. This is because:

  • The material of the brake pads is similar
  • They have a similar size and shape.

Due to this reason, it doesn’t matter on which side you position them. Some brands of the brake pads mention inside and outside indicators. If your brake pad has a particular initial marked, you should follow that instruction. However, with most of them, the position is interchangeable.

What Can Go Wrong When You Place The Brake Pads In The Wrong Position?

If you place the brake pads in the wrong position, you may wonder what will happen. Many parts of the car have specific positions marked, and if you make a mistake it can have very bad consequences. But that is not true with brake pads

You are more likely to not suffer from any problems if you place your brake pads in the wrong position because they are interchangeable. You can put any one of them anywhere as they are almost similar. However, there are certain exceptions related to this.

  • Side specifications are mentioned on the brand. When you get these pads, it is generally mentioned on the box or packaging.
  • Once the brake pad gets damaged, the driver has to change it for better performance of the vehicle. It consists of wear indicators. This informs the driver that the pad is to be changed. 

You can check if the brake pads have either of the above two, before installing them. This will help you understand if you need to make sure that the position is correct. If they are not marked like this, you can go ahead and install them any which way you like.

You don’t have to worry much about interchanging brake pads if they do not consist of these indications. The crucial thing is to consider whether you have placed the brake pads appropriately on the outside and inside. 


Which Brake Pad Goes On The Inside


Frequently Asked Questions.

Which brake pad should be placed on which side?

The L pad should go on the left side, and the R pad should go on the right side of the car. You don’t have to think much about choosing the side of the brake pad that doesn’t have any letter mentioned on it. The left pad should go on the outside of the car.

Which side of the brake pad goes on the inside?

The R pads placed on the right side of the car should go inside the vehicle.


You might like to read: What Does Lifetime Warranty On Brake Pads Mean?


Is there a difference between inside and outside brake pads?

The outer pad consists of a chamfer on the top of the vehicle, while the inner pad consists of two ears present on the top of the pad. These two ears match the brake caliper pistons. This is the primary difference between the inside and outside brake pads installed in your vehicle.

How can you find out the correct location of each brake pad?

If the brake pads are indicated with L and R, you need to install them at the specific location. If they are not indicated with any of the letters, it doesn’t matter where you place them. If marked with L, the right goes on outside the car. 

How do you need to put on the brake pads with a wear indicator?

Position the pad indicators onto the pads. Make sure the arrow present on the indicator is towards the direction of rotation. 

Place the anti-sequel shims on the outer side of each pad. After this, you need to locate the pad assembly on the torque plate. After this, try to compress the caliper piston into the bore. 


Which Brake Pad Goes On The Inside


Is it ok to out your brake pads incorrectly on the car?

If you install the brake pads correctly, you may suffer from problems while driving the car. You need to ensure your safety when driving a vehicle, so the car’s brakes should always be in a proper working condition. 

Is it bad to have different brake pads?

Firstly, you need to understand that replacing both front and rear pads is essential. So, make sure you replace all of them together.

Does the location of the brake pads matter?

No, it doesn’t matter which brake pad goes on which side until and unless it has the letters L and A marked. 


You might like to read: Which Brake Pads Wear Out First?


A Few Final Words

Brake pads are perhaps the most crucial component of the brake assembly. When brake pads function correctly, they generate friction to stop the car within time to avert accidents. When these pads  get damaged, you have to change them. This can be a bit difficult as all of them look alike. 

It can be challenging to understand which brake pad goes on which side. Once you understand where you need to position them, it becomes easy to place them in your vehicle. If you are stuck in this process, you can go through this article, where you need to install these brake pads and more such terms. 

Thank you for reading the article, we hope we answered all your questions.

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Sean Mendez

Hi, I am Sean, a self-confessed petrolhead. I live in Boise, Idaho with a busy family of four and our energetic Labrador retriever. Thank you for visiting my website. You can find my email on the contact page.

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