The braking system is one of the most important and critical part in terms of safety for your car. A stagering 22% of brake related cases are known to be the cause of crashes and this percentage is only the second highest after tires. The Ministry of Domestic Trade in Malaysia therefore places high importance on the safety of brake parts such as brake pads. Starting from 2014, all replacement brake pads must comply with Malaysian Standard MS1164 or regulation 90 if the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe. Choosing the right brake pads is key to making sure you avoid becoming a crash statistics.

Here are some of the FAQs concerning brake pads that you may find useful:

How long do brake pads last?

The longevity of your brake pads depends largely on your driving style, if you are a person who hit the brakes at the last minute all the time then your brake pads tend to last shorter. On average, brake pads can last about 75,000KM, ranging from 45,000KM to about 80,000KM. To most drivers this is equivalent to about 4 years of driving depending on road conditions and driving behaviour. Disc rotors can normally last two or three times as long as brake pads.

What causes brake pads to wear out?

The friction applied to brake pads gradually wears them down until they become too thin. The erosion process can be of course accelerated by a number of factors and they include the quality of the brake pads, how often you drive on a slope or hill, how frequently you brake, how sharply you brake and how tight your wheel lugs are screwed. Your car become immediately dangerous to drive once your brake pads have worn out. Worn out brake pads will also cause your disc rotors to be damaged hence the need to change the entire braking assembly instead of just your pads. 

What are the signs to look out for before changing brake pads?

- Screeching sound when braking - an indication that the brake pads' metal shim is colliding with the disc rotors.
- Clicking sound when braking - an indication that your brake pads are wobbling.
- Delayed stopping time - an indication that your brake pads is thinning and therefore unable to brake in time, especially when traveling down hill.
- Car nose pulls to one side when braking - an indication that your brake pads have become uneven.
- Pedal vibrates when braking - an indication that the binding resin on your brake pads has gotten hot and smeared unevenly over your disc rotors. 

How to extend the life of my brake pads?

- Avoid sharp braking since this stresses your brake pads.
- Maintain a safe distance behind cars to reduce the need to brake suddenly. 
- Avoid speeding as this will increase the chance of braking suddenly.

Should I replace brake pads myself?

You can do a brake pad replacement yourself if you have the mechanical experience. If you are inexperienced, there are plenty of workshops out there with qualified mechanic and foremans that can do the job in 1-2 hours. 

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