What is the lifespan of brake pads?
Every modern car has disc brakes on the front axle, and in this setup the disc part is actually quite hardy and can last a long time – 160,000km on small, light cars.
The pads, however, are less hardy and generally last only a fraction of the time. There is no hard and fast number though, so instead read the following examples and see which best represents you.
The small car
If you drive a small car, a Ford Fiesta, Mini or similar, the pads are going to last longer. The reason is simple – they’re controlling less weight. If you own a small car and rarely carry passengers, you could easily expect to get 80,000km from a set of pads, as long as they’re good quality. That said, 80k is the best-case scenario – the reality will be somewhere around 50,000km.
The medium family car
More metal, more weight, more load in the boot, more work for the pads. For average-sized family cars such as a Ford Focus or Holden Astra, doing the average 20,000km per year, you can expect to get 32,000 to 40,000km out of a set of pads.
The executive car
The commercial vehicle
Vans and utes tend to be driven harder and with more weight on board, which means the brakes have to do a lot more work. As such, it’s not uncommon to go through a set of pads once a year, or every 15,000-25,000km.
These are just guides, of course. There are things you can do to prolong the life of your pads. Look at your driving – are you braking too early or perhaps dabbing them when you don’t need to? Are you driving around with a load of stuff in the boot? Travel light and change your driving habits and the pads will last longer.