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When Do You Need to Replace Your Brakes?

When Do You Need to Replace Your Brakes

When Do You Need to Replace Your Brakes – You think now is the time to change your brakes? But you’re wondering “how do I really know if I should change them, how to choose my new brakes and at what cost?” enlightens you and accompanies you in this important step for your safety. namely that it is strongly advisable to have your braking system checked every 20 000 km, thanks to this control you will be regularly informed of the condition of your brakes and can foresee their change in time.

When Do You Need to Replace Your Brakes

How do we know when we need to change our brakes?

First, most cars have a brake pad wear indicator. This indicator lights up on your dashboard when your pads are worn and need to be changed. That said, no panic at the ignition of this light, you still have about 2 500 to 3 000 km before reaching the complete wear of your pads, i.e. the time when your pads will no longer have trim. This moment is to be avoided because, without trimming, during your braking, the metal of your worn platelets will come into contact with the metal holder of the disc which will damage it strongly. A complete brake disc is more expensive to change than simple brake pads, so it is better to avoid going through it. For information, it is advisable not to exceed a 15% wear threshold of the brake discs.

To check the wear of the drum brake lining, you can carry out the control yourself with your parking brake. If, when you pull your parking brake, the blocking point only happens after 6 notches, your drum brakes need to be changed because the fittings have arrived at their point of wear.

Then you can also realize the wear of your brakes with your brake pedal (changing the behavior of your braking). In fact, when the brakes are worn it is difficult to obtain effective braking, you will have to press much more on the brake pedal which will tend to be very long before the braking is done. Unusual friction sounds can also occur during braking, which may be a sign of wear and tear.

Another factor of worn brakes is your use of brake fluid (a very useful factor for people who do not have a wear indicator of brake pads in their car). When the brake pads are worn, the hydraulic system will use more brake fluid to compensate for the lack of trim on your pads (clamping mechanism of the pads against the disk much more important).

So think about checking your brake fluid level from time to time, if it is at least it certainly means that your brakes are worn and that they need to be changed. In which case, if your brake fluid level is to reach the minimum, your brake fluid level indicator will light up to warn you.

Another way to control the wear of your brakes is to take a look at it, simply! For this, you will need to disassemble your wheels or look through your rims to check the thickness of the lining of your brake pads. It is advisable to keep a thickness of at least 5 mm to ensure a good braking, below this threshold you will be recommended to change them. Note that the maximum wear point is reached 2 mm, below this thickness it is most likely that the metals of the pads and the disc come into contact and thus damage the brake disc.

What to do in case of an emergency? Your brakes are completely worn out and come to let go in full braking … Keep calm, remember to quickly demote and “gently” lift the parking brake to stop your vehicle. We hope that no one comes to this stage of course. But in this case, your parking brake will be your best friend!


How to choose your brakes correctly

You noticed that your brake pads were worn and you have to change them. Different criteria are to be taken into account when choosing your new brake pads:

  • Find out about the model of your vehicle (year, ABS system or not, …), this will already allow you to orient yourself on the different types of brakes compatible
  • Know the diameter of your discs and drums
  • Lift the mark of your brake calipers (engraved on them) and determine the shape of your brake pads

With all this information, you should be able to find the pads compatible with your calipers and discs and also the pads of your drums in the different outlets.

In addition, please note that many Internet sites offer a vehicle recognition system through a database (such as This system allows you to identify your car and to offer you all the equipment compatible and suitable for your own model. You will be able to choose your brake pads much more easily!


Change my brakes, yes but at what cost?

You want to change your pads, brake discs or drum brakes, but you wonder how much it costs?

– First, the price of the change of your brakes will vary greatly depending on the model of your vehicle. From single to double, the price of your pads, discs or drums will not be the same if you own a city, road, SUV or 4 × 4.

– The price will also change depending on the type of coins you choose, you have the choice between a Premium Brand (Bosch, Delphi, Monroe, …) and a distributor brand (Norauto, green light, …). It should be noted that car manufacturers never use MDD parts to equip their vehicles, it is advisable to use premium branded parts for optimum maintenance of your car.

Regarding the price of the parts themselves, you will have to count on average:

  • From 30 to €70 for a set of 4 pads
  • From 50 to €200 for two front brake discs
  • From 100 to €250 for two rear brake discs
  • From 200 to €400 for two rear drum brakes

When changing the discs and/or drum brakes, it is strongly advisable to drain the brake fluid in addition.

– Other items to be taken into account in the amount is the price of assembling your brakes. You actually have the possibility to change them yourself or make them change by a garage. In the case of a single installation, insurance does not cover you in the event of an accident, it is, therefore, advisable to use professionals who can carry out a global control and prevent you from future changes. For a garage brake change, an average of around 50 to €60 hourly rates is required. This amount is only indicative as it can vary depending on the garages.

The brake mounting systems are very different from one vehicle to another, so the time spent by the garage to change your brakes can take 15/20 min to 1 h if there are difficulties. You can, therefore, estimate an installation of 70/80 € up to 150/200 € in the case of complications.

For information, the average lifespan of a set of platelets is 30 000 km, a 60 000 km disc and a drum brake of 90 000 km.

Once your brake pads have changed, note that (depending on the type of your pads): Your new pads will need a break-in of 300 to 1 000 km! Remember that your brakes will not be at their peak during this time. Less effective as even all smooth pads, you will need to increase your safety distances and avoid too abrupt braking to avoid any surprises. Your brakes require an adjustment time before regaining their full efficiency, so be patient and ride carefully!