service areas April 02, 2018

Brake Pad Replacement - Herndon, VA

Deciding to perform a brake pad replacement on Herndon, VA cars depends on three things: if the pad is soft or hard, the usual driving environment, and the braking habits of the driver. Wiygul Automotive recommends routine brake inspections to determine not just the remaining material on the pads, but to examine the brake calipers and rotors for replacement as well.

The type of car and the material composition of the pads defines the hardness rating. Most cars in Virginia are considered standard performance vehicles, which means they operate at lower speeds. Examples are mini-vans and four-door sedans. These vehicles use soft pads composed of steel or other metals. They perform well under various road and weather conditions but have a shorter lifespan than hard brake pads.

High-performance vehicles, like sports cars, require hard brake pads. They use carbon-ceramic materials designed for high-speed use and last longer than steel or metal composites. Because of that, hard brake pads need to warm up for peak performance. That means drivers have to remember to be more cautious initially when operating their vehicle. The carbon-ceramic material also makes hard pads more expensive than soft pads.

Driving environment directly affects the life of a car’s brake pads. City or urban driving requires more frequent braking because of the stop-and-go traffic road congestion. The same is true for drivers in the Rocky or Apple Orchard Mountains. Frequent braking is needed to control the descent speed of an auto on steep, downhill runs. Drivers in more rural areas near Herndon, VA do not have to deal with the elevation or congestion, and therefore need fewer brake pad replacements.

Regardless of the environment, driver braking habits are the most important factor in how quickly brake pads need replacing. Drivers who brake early and coast gently to a stop can significantly extend the life of their brake pads. Those who keep a foot continually on the brake and step suddenly on it for a quick stop wear out their brake pads rapidly. If the vehicle uses soft pads, poor braking habits can overheat them and cause tiny steel or other metal particles to melt onto the rotors which reduces brake performance.

On average, brake pads need replacing after around 50,000 miles on the road. Poor braking habits can reduce this by as much as 25,000 miles. Good habits can add as much as 20,000 miles to the life of the brake pads. To extend the life of your brake pads and reduce the number of brake pad replacements on your Herndon, VA auto, we recommend a brake examination with each oil change.

Wiygul Automotive is happy to provide our customers a free brake inspection every year as part of our family tradition of customer service started by James Wiygul over 60 years ago. If you need new pads or other brake components, call today at 866-702-8050 to schedule an appointment. We are here for you.


Herndon, VA

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