How Long Brakes Should Last

August 21, 2018 10:20 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

When your vehicle’s brakes start to squeak and squeal, you know it’s time to get the brakes checked out. Brakes are the most important safety feature in your vehicle, so don’t wait to get them replaced. On an icy northwest Indiana road, reliable brakes are your best friend. So, how long can you expect brakes in Gary, IN to last?

40,000 Miles?

Brake pad manufacturers publish a wide range of expectations for mileage on their brake pads. The average brake pad life will range somewhere from 25,000 to 65,000 miles. While some people have kept brake pads around as long as 70,000 or 80,000 miles, those are the exception rather than the rule. The average seems to be in the 40,000-mile range.

Most auto mechanics agree that 40,000 miles isn’t a bad estimate for brake pads. However, there are many factors affecting the number of miles a brake pad can last. This is similar to the way that a “70,000-mile” tire may start to show signs of wear at 20,000 or 25,000 miles. There are many factors such as road conditions, weather, driving conditions, etc. which could have taken a lot of life out that 70,000-mile tire. Likewise, careful driving on smooth roads in ideal conditions could extend that 70,000-mile tire’s life even longer.

Factors Affecting Brake Pad Life: Driving

Driving conditions have a major impact on the life expectancy of brake pads. The individual who has probably experienced a 70,000-mile or better brake pad life is probably a long-distance highway commuter with very little stop-and-go driving. She probably keeps her vehicle on a very strict car maintenance schedule.

However, most of us in northwest Indiana will find ourselves using our brakes more often. We drive on slick roads in heavy traffic. Those of us who are speedier drivers will find ourselves burning through our brake pads quicker. By slowing down and obeying traffic laws, we will not only be increasing our safety and improving our gas mileage, but also extending the brake pad life possibly beyond the 40,000-mile marker.

The amount of cargo we carry has a major impact on brake pad life. The more mass our vehicles are carrying, the more braking power is needed. Reducing the extra cargo in the trunk will help extend the life of the brakes.

Regular vehicle maintenance will also assist in extending the life of brake pads. Flushing brake fluid every 25,000 miles is recommended and will help the brakes function better.

Factors Affecting Brake Pad Life: Material

The type of brake pad has a significant impact on its longevity. Brake pads are manufactured in either ceramic or semi-metallic pads:

  • Ceramic pads: These pads offer better stopping power because they are constructed of ceramic fiber, which produces less friction and heat during braking. However, the sacrifice is that the pads will wear out quicker.
  • Semi-metallic pads: These pads are made of shaved metal and other elements. They last longer than ceramic pads, but do not offer the responsive stopping power.

While purchasing and installing brake pads that are semi-metallic will improve the longevity of the brakes, many drivers are willing to sacrifice a longer brake life in order to stop quicker.

Schedule Brake Repair in Gary, IN

For more information about brakes in Gary, IN, it’s best to consult the professionals. The pros Miller Brakes and Mufflers, Inc. are the leading experts in brake repair in Gary, IN, and have been since 2000. Don’t leave the care of your brakes to chance. Give us a call today to have us take a look at your brakes!

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