Your brakes are going to wear out eventually. There’s just no way to avoid it because you have to use them! So, we all expect to need a brake replacement at some point. But when should you expect that to happen? The answer is that it depends on a few factors, including what kind of car you have and your driving habits.
Let’s take a look at the contributing factors to brake and wear and when you should expect to need a brake replacement.
Front Brake Wear
There are two basic types of brake systems: disc brakes and drum brakes. Most cars and trucks have disc brakes on both the front and rear, but some older or less expensive cars may still have drum brakes on the rear wheels. In that case, you should expect your front brakes to wear out first. But even if you have disc brakes in both the front and rear, your front brakes often wear faster because they handle more of the weight transfer when you brake. We have inertia to thank for that. Remember “an object in motion tends to stay in motion”? When you put your foot on the brake, your car continues to move forward, causing your front brakes to work harder than the rear brakes.
Rear Brake Wear
Just because your front brakes do more of the work, that doesn’t mean your rear brakes aren’t doing anything. In fact, with advances in stability control, your rear brakes often work just as hard as your front brakes. This, of course, depends on your car and your driving habits. If you do a lot of city driving, the stop-and-go traffic will cause more wear to the front brakes. However, if you do more driving on windy back roads, you can expect more wear to your rear brakes because you are engaging the traction control more often.
Pad Wear vs. Rotor Wear
There are multiple parts that make up your brake system, but the two that you will most likely need to replace are the rotors and the brake pads. The brake pads clamp down on the rotors to slow your car. Because of both the materials and the motion, your brake pads tend to wear faster than the rotors, but the rotors do wear down over time as well.