Wiygul Automotive recommends at minimum, annual brake inspections to determine the condition of your brake calipers, rotors, and pads. In Fort Washington, MD, brake pad replacement is a routine task for us. The decision to replace them depends on several factors; is it is a hard or soft pad, what is the regular driving environment, and what are the routine braking habits of the driver?
The car it is designed for, and the material which comprises the brake pad determines its rating as hard or soft. High-performance autos require a hard brake pad. They are constructed from carbon-ceramic materials, making them very expensive, but they have an extended lifespan longer than soft pads. Carbon-ceramic pads are designed to function best at high speeds, so they a warm-up period to operate at peak efficiency. Drivers have to remember this and use additional caution initially.
Most automobiles in Maryland are considered standard performance, however, mini-vans and four-door models for example. Since these cars operate at lower speeds, their brake pads are created from steel or other metal composites, making these soft brake pads cheaper than their carbon-ceramic counterparts. They operate efficiently in most road and weather conditions but have a shorter lifespan than hard pads.
Operating in a rural or urban environment also affects the lifespan of a brake pad. Drivers in primarily rural areas simply do not apply their brakes as often on these flat roads with less traffic near Fort Washington, MD, reducing brake pad replacement. Operating in an urban sprawl environment forces drivers to brake much more frequently in the daily stop-and-go traffic, wearing down the pads more quickly. Drivers in steep elevation area like the Apple Orchard or the Rocky Mountains also brake more frequently and longer to control their speed as they descend.
Regardless of type or environment, the driver is the most important factor. To increase the life of their brake pads, each driver should apply the brake early enough to coast easily to a stop. A driver who steps hard on the brake to a sudden stop or continuously has a foot on it quickly wears out and overheats the pads. The excess heat can melt tiny bits of metal off soft pads that drip onto the rotors, compromising brake performance.
Brake pads last about 50,000 miles. Poor driver performance combined with the driving environment factor can reduce this to only 25,000 miles. Using proper braking techniques and regular inspections can extend a brake pad’s lifespan up to as much as 70,000 miles. To prevent waiting too long and putting your car at risk, we ask to examine your brakes with every oil change. It provides us more data to schedule the brake pad replacement for your Fort Washington, MD auto at the right time.
Wiygul Automotive uses the best brake pads on the market for your car. Each office provides a free brake inspection annually as part of the family tradition of customer service started 60 years ago by our founder, James Wiygul. Call us today at 866-702-8050 for an appointment if you need new brakes, or simply cannot remember when you had your last inspection.