Brake pad image source Pixabay


Obviously, you would like your brake pads to serve you for as long as they can. After all, you spend a significant amount of money to buy them. It will be better if you use them for several kilometers and miles. On the same note, you would like to know the exact time that you should do a brake pads replacement. So, how long do brake pads last?

Am just planning to buy brake pads.

How long should I expect them to serve me?

Will they last for 25,000 miles, 40,000 miles or 70,000 miles?

And how long will 4mm brake pads or 3mm brake pads last?

Well, there is no definite answer on how long the brake pads should last.

Different types of brake pads have different lifespans.

Also, the same type of brake pad can have different lifespans when used on different vehicles.

In other words, there is no defined lifespan for brake pads.

There are several factors that actually affect how long the brake pads of a car will last.

The only thing that we can do is to estimate the average lifespan of the brake pads.

Most brake pad manufacturers estimate that brake pads can last for a period of between 25,000 miles to 70,000 miles.


Brake Pads Material

Brake pad image source Your Mechanic


There are different types of brake pads.

Each type is differentiated based on the materials that it contains.

Do you know that the nature of the material used has a direct impact on how long your brake pads will last?

Here are the materials that are used for making brake pads:


1.Non-Asbestos Organic

This type of brake pads contain organic materials and has zero asbestos elements.

The main components that make up this pad include resins, fibers and a pack of other filler materials.

Organic materials are very soft hence tend to wear out very fast.

They also generate a lot of dust when in use.


2.Semi-Metallic brake pads

This type of brake pad is made up of several metal elements.

Some of the metals used include steel, wool, graphite, and copper.

Basically, the percentage of metals in these brake pads range between 30%-70%.

It also contains other friction modifiers.

They are durable and excellent when it comes to heat transfer.

However, they wear down the rotors fast.


3.Low-Metallic material

This type of brake pad contains a combination of organic and metal.

However, the percentage of metallic material is relatively lower than in semi-metallic brake pads.

To be precise, it is between 10% to 30% metal.

This brake pad material produces a lot of dust and noise.


4.Ceramic Material

Ceramic brake pads are majorly made of the ceramic material.

They also have elements of metal, non-ferrous filler materials, and bonding agents.

How long do ceramic brake pads last?

Ceramic is the longest lasting brake pads.

They also deliver excellent performance with minimal noise and dust.

As you can see, each material has its unique characteristics.

These unique features are the ones that determine how long your brake pads will last.


Factors that Determine How Long the Brake Pads Last

We have already discussed one factor that determines how long the brake pads last.

The type of brake pads that you buy.

But, there are several factors that can determine how long your brake pads will last.

Here are some of them:

1.Your driving habits

What kind of driver are you?

Are you a ride the break kind of driver?

If you are a driver who is always driving while your foot is on the brake pedal, know that you are affecting your brake pads.

You will end up replacing your brake pads so often.

This is because you will be pressing the brake several times unnecessary.


2.Type of vehicle that you drive

What car do you drive?

Is it an ordinary saloon car, heavy-duty vehicle or a sports car?

Different types of cars have different deceleration requirements.

Some require more braking force while others will force you to decelerate more frequently.

Moreover, the gear transmission of the vehicle can determine how long the brake pads will last.

When driving a manual car, you can use downshift to slow down the car.

For automatic cars, you will solely depend on the brakes to slow down the vehicle.

Of course, you can already tell that these two have different impacts on the car.


3.The state of the rotors

The shape of the rotors can affect the brake pad lifespan in km.

Let’s say you have just bought the longest lasting brakes.

However, you are putting them on warped out rotors.

In doing so, you hope that the brake pads will last.

The truth of the matter is bad rotors can wear down the brake pads very fast.

Now you know that every time you refuse to replace the rotors, you will be doing injustice to your brake pads.

You will end up paying more for both rotor and brake pads replacement.


How Do I Make Brake Pads to Last?


Every problem has a solution.

Do your brake pads last for a very short period?

There is a solution to that.

You can make them last for long, and here are some of the ways of doing so:


1. Avoid being a brake driver

Don’t be too hard on the brakes.

Instead, brake only when it is necessary.

If you are driving a manual car, just downshift.

You will save several kilometers of your brake pads.


2. Don’t be a road racer

Speeding will always force you to be hard on the brakes whenever you want to decelerate.

This will ultimately affect your brake pads.

It will wear them out.

Instead, try to drive within the speed limits.


3. Cut down on the weight

Do I have to go to the gym?

Definitely no. In this context, we are talking about the weight of the vehicle.

Heavier vehicles tend to put more strain on the brake system.

Try to get rid of the unnecessary luggage.

With these tips, you will be able to keep your brake pads in good condition for long.



In conclusion, you can see that it is difficult to determine the lifespan of the brake pads.

The best that you can do is to put in control measures.

Start by choosing the right brake pads for your vehicle.

From there, monitor your driving habits.