Which Brake Pads Wear Out First?

Brake pads and the braking system are the most important components of a car. It is important to know which brake pads wear out first so that you can replace them accordingly. In this article, we take a look at this and other questions related to brake pads wearing out.

Even under the best of conditions, brakes have a limited life span. They are a crucial component of vehicles and must never be taken lightly. Checking just the fuel and tires is not enough; one needs to pay considerable attention to the car’s brakes and braking system.

Brake failure is responsible for 5% of all car crashes in the United States every year. Considering that there are 5.6mn car crashes every year, that means brake failures are causing 300,000 crashes a year. 

While you must know that you must replace the brake pads in your vehicle periodically, uneven wearing out of brake pads or wearing out too quickly can be another point of bother. 

In this article, we will talk about which side of the brake pads wears out first, so that you can take care of it more rigorously.


Which Brake Pads Wear Out First

Which Brake Pads Wear Out First?

Which Brake Pads Are More Important, Front or Back? The front brake pads do most of the work. When you brake your car, you are impeding the vehicle’s acceleration in the forward direction. This means the front tire bears more force than the rear one. 

This is why front rotors are always made stronger than rear rotors. Since the front brake pads work more than the rear ones, they wear much faster than the rear and need replacement more often. 


You might like to read: What To Do With Old Brake Pads? 


Why Do Rear Brake Pads Wear Faster Than Front In Some Cases?

Why do rear brakes wear out faster? Rear brake pads may wear faster than the front in some cases, although it is a less usual occurrence than the front brake pads wearing out more rapidly than the rear ones. 

Traction control and electronic stability control (ESC) can be responsible for the rapid wearing of rear brake pads. Rear brake pads generally deal with less force than the front ones and are usually thinner. 

The ABS is also linked to traction control and ESC in some vehicles. Since the two systems are linked, they communicate with each other, receiving data from various sensors, including those in your braking system. 

Traction control controls wheelspin while electronic stability control controls handling. If the automobile detects losing control, it applies brakes to bring itself back into line. This might be causing more braking at the rear end than at the front.


Which Brake Pads Wear Out First

Why Are My Brakes Wearing Down So Fast?

There can be three main reasons why your brake pads might require replacement more often than other drivers. 

#1. Your brake pads may be of poor quality.

Sometimes even freshly installed brake pads show issues related to wearing down very quickly. The product quality can be responsible for the same. Inexpensive pads don’t always last long. 

Poor quality pads tend to have less cushioning, which increases the pace of wearing out. On some occasions, the brake pad may get misaligned. When the brake pad is aligned, it should hit the rotor when you brake. 

Misalignment can cause the brake pad to squeeze down unevenly on the rotor. This can cause some parts of the pad to wear down quickly. 

#2. Issues in the braking system

Worn out surface, settling of dust, or rusty patches on the surface of the rotor lead the rotor to lose its smoothness. Owing to this, the brake pad comes in contact with the dirty or rough surface of the rotor. 

This abrasion can create minor damage when the brakes are applied. Eventually, the rate of wear gets accelerated when the brake pad and dirty rotor come in contact again and again. 

Improper working of the calipers also causes some pads to wear down too quickly. Calipers are responsible for pushing the brake pads against the rotor to initiate braking. 

If the caliper gets stuck, it can cause the brake pad to leave on the surface for a longer period than is necessary. This will cause the brake pad to wear down fast. 

#3. Inexperienced driver  

Your brake pads may last longer if you don’t drive too quickly, use engine braking when possible, and don’t travel on congested routes where you have to brake frequently. 

Less experienced drivers might drive too fast and brake too hard. They may use the car more in heavy traffic. If they borrow the car for trips or recreational activities, they may load it up with heavy stuff that puts additional strain on your pads. 

One must not undermine how the use of the vehicle by just one additional driver could be the reason for your brake pads wearing down more quickly.


You might like to read: Where Are Raybestos Brake Pads Made?


What Is the Average Life of Brake Rotors?

Conventional wisdom says that the brake rotors typically have between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. However, it is advisable to get your four-wheeler inspected by a certified mechanic at least every six months. 


Which Brake Pads Wear Out First

How Do You Know Which Brake Pads Need To Be Replaced?

Do I need to replace the front brakes and rear brakes simultaneously? Most brake pads are sold in sets of four. However, one can replace both front and rear brake pads or each pair separately. 

If the front brake pads need repair or replacement, a mechanic can fix them independently. It is noteworthy that the rate of wearing of front and rear brake pads are different, and one must inspect the rate of their wear to decide which pair of brake pads call for replacement. 

Generally, the front pads tend to wear more rapidly; however, vice versa might also happen in some cases. 

When Should I Replace My Front Brakes?

The front brake pads need to be replaced if one can hear noises from the brakes such as squealing, metal on metal grinding, car vibration, and brake shudder upon application of brakes. 

Typically, brake pads last between 30,000 to 70,000 miles, as discussed earlier. However, these numbers vary, especially if you have a sports car. 


You might like to read: Which Brake Pads to Put on the Inside?


A Few Final Words

The rate of wear can vary based on umpteen factors and must be considered when deciding which brake pads must be replaced. 

Were you able to discover the answers you were looking for? Please let us know if there is anything else you’d like us to include in future articles. We would love to hear your thoughts, opinions, and feedback in the comments section. 

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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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