When it comes to the safety features of a car, brake pads are the most important. It’s important to understand what brake pads are, how many brake pads are present in your car, and when to replace them.
You will find brake pads in the disc braking system. They are a flat piece of steel that comes with a material of thick friction layer on one side. The material of the friction layer is different for different vehicles. It depends on the type of brake caliper, type of vehicle, and size.
How Many Brake Pads Does a Car Have?
In short, All the standard vehicles are equipped with brake pads on both the front and rear wheels. Some manufacturers provide two brake pads on each wheel of the vehicle. This makes the total number of brake pads needed is 8.
This is a standard requirement nowadays. Most of the new car models have two brake pads on each wheel. In addition to the brake pads, some vehicles come with 2 sets of calipers on each wheel (especially the front). These are generally supercars or high end models.
These can have four brake pads on each wheel. As you can see, we cannot generalize the number of brake pads required by a vehicle. There is a simple reason behind it. The number of vehicle designs and manufacturers is many and their rendition of the requirement of brake pads is different.
How Do Brake Pads Work?
The disc operating system is operated by the driver by pushing the brake pedal by their foot. This operation pushes against the master cylinder.
The master cylinder is a piston that is surrounded by brake fluid. The fluid descends through the brake line that pressurizes the caliper. This squeezes the brake pads in opposition to the brake disc. This makes the vehicle slow down. The car’s motion is stopped by the waste heat.
Waste heat is the energy released by the car when it stops. The cooling time of the wheels is relatively cooler. In comparison to drum brakes, the performance of these brakes is better. The thickness of the brake pad reduces over time because of regular usage and needs to be replaced after a certain time.
What are the Types of Brake Pads?
There are different types of brake pads available in the market. The different kinds of brake pads that you have in your vehicle also differ in durability. The different types of brake pads are:
- Organic: When it comes to price, these are the cheapest. Its life span is also shorter compared to other types of brake pads.
- Low metallic: This type of brake pad is slightly noisy. The life span of these brake pads is a bit longer compared to organic brake pads.
- Sintered: They are also known as semi-metallic brake pads. They are made by fusing metal particles like bronze and copper with some other materials. The performance of these brake pads is excellent and has a high life expectancy. Compared to other pads, they wear down the brake discs quicker.
- Ceramic: Brake pads made of this material, last longer compared to brake pads made of other materials. These are also more resistant to wear and tear. The only disadvantage for these is that they are expensive in comparison to other brake pads
When Should You Replace Brake Pads?
One should never ignore the time to replace brake pads. Most of the vehicles come with sensors that detect the time to change the brake pad of the front or rear wheel. Some of the signs that you should look for are:
The best way to detect brake pad wear is the warning light. You can find this on the display of the car’s board. If any one of the brake pads is almost worn out, this light will indicate. But some of the cars don’t have brake pad sensors. If the car doesn’t have sensors, then make sure to check the brake pads regularly.
When you press the brake and hear loud screeching, it is a warning sign that the brake pads require inspection. If your car is giving out a grinding noise, then it is a sign that the brake pads have worn out completely. If this happens, then you should avoid driving the vehicle and change the brake pads at the earliest.
While pushing your foot down the brake, if you feel the brake pedals vibrate, the pads can get deformed as a result of excessive heat. There may be uncontrolled damage or wear to brake discs.
Factors that affect the longevity of brake pads
The amount of time the brake pads will last depends on the following two factors:
Places you drive
If you drive frequently on the motorway, then the longevity of the brake pads lasts longer in comparison to the longevity of the brake pads when you drive more in short journeys or inner cities.
The reason behind it is during urban journeys the need to stop and start at traffic signals, junctions, and roundabouts is more. The need to press the brakes is more often than when you are cruising on a highway.
The car’s weight
Another reason why the brake pads wear is the weight the vehicle carries around every day. The weight can be determined by the number of passengers it is carrying, towing a caravan, fully loaded boot, etc. When the weight of the vehicle is less, it becomes easier for the car to slow down and less braking effort is needed.
For example, the weight of a car carrying 5 people is more than a car carrying a couple. Thus, stopping time for the car can never be the same as the pressure is more on the heavier car that puts more strain on the brake pads.
Conclusion on How Many Brakes Does a Car Have
Now, that you know how many brake pads are on a car, I have tried to explain how many brake pads a car has and every other detail of brake pads. If you have any confusion regarding any of the details mentioned in the article or want to know more about brake pads, write your queries to us. I will be happy to help you.
Robert Anderson is a world class motorhead who rebuilt his first carb at age 10, his first engine at age 15, and completed his first full hotrod build when he was just 18! Previously, he has ran a part warehouse, delivered pizzas, and managed the service department for a $20 million/year revenue dealership. Robert knows cars like few others and he is passionate about sharing his knowledge.