How Long Should Brake Discs Last And How Can I Improve Their Lifespan?
Knowing how long your brake discs should last helps you plan your maintenance schedule and avoid unexpected garage trips. But how long should the lifespan of your brakes be? And is there anything you can do to extend that? Read on for more information.
How long should brake discs last?
Generally, brake discs should last more than 50,000 miles on average, but a number of factors affect the lifespan. If you keep them well maintained and drive sensibly, you may be able to get up to 80,000 miles out of one set! However, it is always worth keeping an eye on your brake discs because they can deteriorate in as little as 25 to 30,000 miles.
It’s worth keeping an eye on your brake pads as well. They’re a lot softer than the metal brake discs your car uses and go through a lot more wear and tear. Brake pads generate the friction needed to slow the car down and brake discs spin around with the wheels, pressing on the pads. This wears them down.
An average set of brake pads should last you 50,000 miles, but other factors can affect their lifespan as with the discs. Regularly checking the quality of your brake discs and pads helps keep yours working for longer.
What factors affect the lifespan of brake discs?
There are a range of factors which reduce the lifespan of your brake discs. We’ve listed some of the most common below, along with ways you can reduce the impact they have upon how long your brake discs should last.
Aggressive braking. If you leave it until the last moment to start braking and slam the pedal down, you’re putting too much strain on the brakes. Consider depressing the pedal more gently and coming to a gradual stop to improve the lifespan of your brakes.
Your usual driving route. Motorway driving is much easier on your brakes than inner city driving. This is simply because you brake less on the motorway. It may not be possible to do more motorway driving, especially if you’re constrained by your daily commute, but doing so would help your brake discs last longer.
Average load. The more weight your car carries on a regular basis, the worse it is for the brakes. Heavy loads mean brakes need to generate more friction, thereby working harder and wearing faster. If you regularly carry unnecessary objects, consider removing them from the boot to reduce the strain on your brakes.
Frequency of driving. The more you drive, the less likely your brake discs will last as long as they should. If you regularly drive short distances with heavy braking usage, why not walk, cycle or take public transport instead? Saving your car for the journeys you can’t complete any other way will save your brakes unnecessary wear and tear, helping them last longer.
Making just one of these changes should help improve the lifespan of your brake discs. You’ll notice a difference in terms of lifespan when you reduce some of the unintentional strain on your brakes.
When should I replace my brake discs and pads?
No matter what you do, your brake discs and pads will still need replacing. Fortunately, there are a range of warning signs to help you recognise when this maintenance needs doing.
On more modern vehicles, there is a brake pad wear warning light, like this one. When this comes on, it means you need to book a replacement urgently. However, as not all cars have this feature, be on the lookout for a loud squealing noise under braking. Unclean brakes may cause some noise under braking, but if it’s loud and persistent, your brake pads need replacing urgently. If you don’t, the noise could become a loud grinding sound which means your brake pads are completely worn and may be damaging the brake discs.
A brake disc specific warning sign is vibration under braking. This indicates that your discs are abnormally worn and need to be checked out and changed.
How Hares Servicing and Repairs can help you
Here at Hares Servicing and Repairs, we always inform you about the health of your brakes during our MOT and service reports. We’ll let you know how worn they are and how much depth is left (in mm). If we think they need changing urgently, we’ll always let you know and explain the benefits of doing so before we complete the work.
While you can complete a visual inspection at home by looking through the spokes of the wheel and measuring how much depth your brake pads have left (it should be more than 3mm), don’t just rely on sight. Your brake pads may look fine, but you could be experiencing a problem somewhere else in the system. If something feels wrong, book a brake inspection with us today! Our online booking system makes it quick and easy to see if your brake discs are lasting as long as they should.