Should I Replace All Brake Pads at Once?

January 14, 2021 5:07 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

One of the most common auto repair questions we receive from our customers in Port Charlotte, FL is whether they should replace brake pads individually or all at once. While you don’t necessarily have to replace all four pads at once, at the very least you should replace both front or rear pads at the same time, as they should be wearing out at basically the same rate.

Here’s a quick overview of what you should know about how brake pads wear down and what you should do to replace them.

Factors affecting wear on rear pads

Different cars will have different types of brakes, and some particular types of braking aids can cause more wear and tear on brake pads than what you’d see in other vehicles. For example, some newer cars have electronic brake force distribution (EBFD), which is fantastic for added stability, but can also result in more brake pad wear due to a processor applying extra braking power to the rear wheels.

Features like anti-lock braking systems (ABS) can also increase brake pad wear on the rear pads. This is because ABS creates cycles in the braking pressure on and off at the rear and front.

If your vehicle has both EBFD and ABS, this means you can expect the brake pads to wear down even faster, especially as you put more miles on the vehicle.

Factors affecting front pads

With most vehicles, 70 percent of the braking occurs in the front brakes, which means you can expect the pads in the front to wear down even faster than those in the rear. This is due both to common vehicle designs as well as simple physics. Manufacturers focus on keeping the braking system geared toward the front, to prevent the rear brakes from locking up.

In addition, when you step on the brakes in any vehicle, the force can result in the nose dipping down to a certain degree due to weight transfer. That weight transfers onto the front of the vehicle, resulting in more of a downward force on the front wheels and brakes, which in turn means a greater amount of wear. This means you’ll most likely need to change brake pads in the front before the rear.

Consider your style of driving

The type of vehicle and braking systems you have will certainly influence the frequency with which you can expect to change your brake pads, but your style of driving will also play a big role. More aggressive driving will mean faster wear on your brake pads. In addition, if you spend a lot of time driving in the mountains, where you need to ride on your brakes, or do a lot of stop-and-go driving in the city versus highway driving, you will experience faster wear with your brake pads.

Interested in learning more about braking systems and changing your brake pads? We encourage you to contact Ice Cold Auto Repair with any questions. We’ve been a trusted provider of auto repair in Port Charlotte, FL for over two decades, and look forward to assisting you soon.

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