Drivers across the Richmond, Ashland, and Mechanicsville area know that the braking system in a vehicle is one of the most important components. It's responsible for letting you stop when you need to. Your braking system is made of numerous parts, but today we're going to focus on brake pads and brake rotors.

What Are Brake Pads?

You've no doubt heard of brake pads, but do you really know what they are? Brake pads are made of different ceramic and metallic materials. They can also be made of organic material, which reduces their noise, but unfortunately also their lifespan.

Brake pads are components featured in your braking system that continuously squeeze your brake rotors when you apply pressure to the brake pedal inside the vehicle. When you apply pressure, the brake pad clamps down on the rotor to help reduce the speed of your vehicle. Applying light pressure and coming to a gradual stop is a great way to ensure that your brake pads can last for a long time.

Brake pads, like engine oil, need to be changed when they become less effective. Because your brake pad functions as a clamp on metal parts, it begins to wear. Over time, the brake pads will wear down enough that braking efficiently could become problematic. Keeping an eye on your brake pads is a good idea because it'll allow you to determine how much life is left in your brake pads before you need to replace them. 

What Are Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors aren't as well-known as brake pads because rotors are also known as brake discs. This is because they're shaped like flat circular discs. The brake rotors will rotate to ensure that your wheel is moving properly. It's attached to the axle, and while working with the brake pads and calipers, it helps to get your vehicle to slow down and stop. When you're applying pressure to your brake pedal, your brake pads squeeze the rotors to get the vehicle to slow down.

Brake rotors are typically made from steel and iron. Due to the materials, these vehicle components last a long time before you have to replace them. You can ride on the same brake rotors for up to 70,000 miles if you brake normally. Frantic or panicked braking can cause premature wear on your brake rotors.

Differences Between Brake Pads and Brake Rotors

Because brake rotors are made of stronger material, they typically last much longer than brake pads. Depending on how you drive, or more specifically how you brake, your brake pads can last up to 50,000 miles. However, if you slam on your brakes, your brake pads may end up needing to be replaced at 25,000 miles. It's important to know that your braking style has an effect on these components and how long they last.


Want to learn more about your vehicle's braking system? Contact the Ford Service Department at Richmond Ford Lincoln, the dealership that proudly serves drivers in the Richmond, Ashland, and Mechanicsville areas.

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Richmond Ford Lincoln

4600 West Broad Street
Directions Richmond, VA 23230

  • Sales: (804) 474-0531
  • Service: (804) 474-0572
  • Parts: (804) 254-9290


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