Break Pads Replacement
Making sure your brakes are in proper working condition, and replacing worn parts like pads and shoes when the time is right, won’t just save you money in the long run. It can also potentially save your vehicle or even your life in an accident. But how do you know when to replace your brakes’ pads or shoes? What are they for? Let’s take a closer look at the how what, and why of replacing brake pads and/or shoes on your vehicle.
WHAT ARE BRAKE PADS? WHAT ARE BRAKE SHOES?
Auto manufacturers install two types of brakes on passenger vehicles: disc brakes and drum brakes. Both use friction to slow your vehicle, but there are differences too.
Disc brakes use “pads” of specially engineered pieces of friction material made of organic, metallic, or ceramic substances pressed against a rotor or “disc” when the driver steps on the brakes. The resulting friction slows the vehicle. Disc brakes are found on the front axles of all modern passenger vehicles and on the rear axle of many, too.
Drum brakes also use friction material, much like disc brake pads, but it is affixed to half-moon-shaped “shoes” pressed against the inside of a drum when you step on the brakes. Their friction against the drum slows the vehicle. Drum brakes used to be common on all four-wheel positions, but on modern cars and light trucks, they’re only installed on the rear axle.
Whether pads or shoes, both wear down with use, so it’s important to monitor their condition by having them inspected regularly. If allowed to wear out before being replaced, other components of the brake system may be damaged – especially the brake discs or drums. In addition to often costly repairs, driving with worn brake pads or shoes can result in unsafe driving conditions.