Sparesbox Blog

We Answer Your Most Commonly Asked Brake Pad Questions

By Sam Young

Wed Mar 21 2018

The health of your brakes is vital to the performance of your vehicle. That’s why we asked our Sparesbox Technicians what the top 5 brake pad questions are that they get asked as a mechanic, here are those questions and our answers to them!


Question 1: When do I know when to replace my brake pad?

Most brake pads have a wear indicator on them that will make an audible noise when it reaches the point of contact on the brake rotor. A lot of newer cars, especially European vehicles now come with an electronic brake wear indicator. These electric sensors will alert the driver to worn brakes through a warning light on the dash of the car.

It is at this point, whether you can hear the brake indicator or the warning light has been triggered, that you should aim to replace your brake pads as soon as possible to avoid elongated damage to braking components or dangerous driving conditions for your family.


Question 2: Why are my brakes so dusty?

Brake dust is one of the great double-edged swords of car ownership. We have a huge number of people questioning whether a certain brake pad is dusty or dust free however the truth is, if your brakes are dusty, it generally means they’re a soft compound and will be some of the best brakes for your vehicle.

As irritating as it can be to keep your wheels clean, it is nearly impossible to have a dust free brake pad. Newer cars are especially bad as they come with a softer compound brake pad and rotor which provides better braking performance but creates excessive brake dust.


Question 3: Why are my brake pads noisy?

Noisy brake pads can be due to a huge number of reasons. It may be due to the wear indicator on the pad reaching its point of contact due to excessive wear on the part. This is

one of the most common causes of noisy brakes. This is known as ‘metal on metal’ contact.

There are several other reasons your brakes may be noisy, the other major contributor to complaints is rapid vibration of the brake pad due to free play within the caliper.


Question 4: Why are my brake pads wearing unevenly?

This can be due to sticky calipers, where the piston in the caliper may have reduced movement or has seized completely. Your caliper is susceptible to this when the piston boot has torn and foreign matter enters.

Other issues that may cause uneven brake pad wear can be poorly bled or old brake fluid along with a faulty proportioning valve.


Question 5: Will my new brake pads last as long as my old pads?

Giving an accurate measure of brake pad life is nearly impossible. Pad wear comes down too many variables such as driving style. If the driver brakes heavily or late, the pads will wear quickly. Similarly, if the driver takes the vehicle to race track environments, the pads will wear quicker that standard driving conditions.


Brakes are an incredibly intricate part of your vehicles operating systems and need to be treated with a great deal of respect and care. Brake pads at the end of the day are the only part on the car that are going to stop your vehicle.


Hopefully these top 5 questions have helped shed some light on any common misconceptions or queries you’ve had around service time.






How Do Brake Shoes Work? HERE

13 Of The Most Asked Car Service Questions! HERE

How Do I Stop My Brake Pads From Squealing? HERE

Brake Pads – How To Bed Them In? HERE