Brake Pads and Brake Pad Hardware
Brake pads are esentially blocks of friction material (differnet types provide different levels of performance) attached to a steel plate. They are designed to stop the car by changing energy types, kinetic to thermal, which is accomplished by applying the friction material to a metal disc. In layman's terms, you're clamping down on a disc to slow your wheels and the pads are what makes contact.
Replacing brake pads at regular intervals is a requirement of owning, operating and maintaining any vehicle. Unlike some parts on a car, the vast majority of brake pads are designed to alert the driver in a very conspicuous way when they are in need of replacing. The most common method of this is a metal pin or strip which comes in contact with the rotor once the friction material has been worn to a certain point. This is probably one of the most easily recognizable trouble signs, as it is so common to hear. The high pitched squeal or gentle grinding noise makes it difficult to avoid the obvious need for a repair.
Waiting too long to replace brake pads could result in damaged rotors, calipers, or worst of all a collision while driving. How long a set of pads is going to last will vary, as drivers, the vehicle, the quality of pads and rotors, the condition of the entire braking system and environment all play into the lifespan of this part.
Brake pads are always sold in sets, and should always be installed in sets, for the left and right wheels. Depending on your vehicle's drivetrain configuration (FWD, RWD, AWD) front and rear pads share a different workload for each stop, and they will wear equally, but at a different rate than those at the other end of the vehicle. If your brake pads have uneven wear between the left and right, you most likley have other issues with the braking system in your vehicle.
We have a robust inventory and availability for brake pads from these vendors: