Many people, for various reasons, tend to severely procrastinate when it comes to replacing parts in their cars.
However, there comes a time when further delay not only causes permanent damage to the car, but also poses risk to the safety of the driver and other road users. Brake pads are an excellent case in point.
Very often putting off part replacement is based on false economy. When we postpone the expenditure by a month or a quarter and finally visit the service station, the cost of repair turns out to be much higher than it would have been, had we visited the garage immediately after we had noticed the first warning signs.
“Excessive brake pad wear leads to complete removal of the friction material mixture. As a result, a part of the brake pad made of metal – the backing pad – starts to rub against the brake disc, causing its premature failure. Consequently, during inspection we will need to have both brake pads and brake discs replaced, making the repair much more expensive”, explains Maciej Młodzikowski, R&D expert at Lumag, the company who manufactures Breck brake pads.
Delaying brake pad replacement also makes them more susceptible to weather conditions. High humidity, temperature fluctuations and road salt are conducive to corrosion, and, consequently, precipitate brake pad degradation. Every minute crack can be later filled with condensation and lead to premature part failure.
At the same time, financial considerations should not overshadow safety. Wearing the friction material down to a layer less than three mm thin directly translates into a dramatic drop in braking efficiency. As a result, during emergency braking, the stopping distance may prove to be too long to bring the vehicle to a halt safely.