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5 questions that will help you select the most suitable brake pads for your car

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Updated 31 Mar 2020

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Replacing the brake pads on your car is super important. Yet, it’s not as simple as picking any brake pad set that ‘fits’ your car and whacking them on.

You need to make sure that the brake pads that are the most suitable to your needs are being installed on your car.

Everyone uses their car in different ways, so sometimes the generic factory spec brake pad might not do the trick.

So how do you find out which brake pads are most suited to you?

The team at Bendix have shared five questions that your mechanic should ask to determine the type of brake pads your car needs.

These questions are both easy to ask and easy to answer.

1. What brake characteristics are important to you, the driver?

This involves finding out whether you prefer things like a positive brake feel, no brake noise or reduced brake dust.

This may turn into an exercise of compromise. For instance, brake pads that have low brake noise and provide a good brake feel might cause an increased amount of brake dust.

On the other hand, brake pads that cause hardly any brake dust might be quite noisy. Your mechanic will be able to discuss your options depending on the answer to this question.

2. How do you use your vehicle?

Do you spend most of your time in heavy stop-start traffic? Is the bulk of your driving spent on open roads, such the highway? Do you enjoy a spirited drive through mountains on the weekends, or even visit a track day in your car from time to time?

Your mechanic should find out a bit more about your driving habits so that they can supply the most suitable pads.

3. What vehicle are the brake pads being fitted to?

Although the same type of vehicle can be used for a wide variety of purposes, they are limited in terms of what parts will actually fit. The type of vehicle the brake pads will be fitted to will narrow the possible brake pad options.

This is a given, and if you’re talking to a mechanic in person, you’ll most likely have the car there with you.

If you’re getting quotes online or over the phone, the type of car you’re driving should be one of the questions you’re asked.

4. Do you haul heavy loads regularly?

This question is particularly relevant for utes, vans or people movers.

If you’re consistently loading up your vehicles with a lot of extra weight, this will influence the type of brake pads that will be the most suitable for your car, as opposed to the same car not carrying heavy loads.

5. Do you tow a trailer?

Similar to the above question, however, it’s relevant to a wider range of vehicles, as long as they are fitted with a tow ball.

Towing a trailer, whether it be once in a while or every day, means your brakes have to work harder to stop your vehicle.

It’s also important to know whether the weight rating of the trailer that you tow is, and whether it has its own set of brakes.

Your answers to the above questions will narrow down the available brake pad options to include only the most suitable.

The brakes on your car are one of, if not the, most important safety features it has. You don’t want to risk not fitting the pads that are most suited to your driving habits and vehicle.

Whilst your day to day braking may not be impacted by having less suitable pads installed, it’s in the one-off emergency situation, where you really need them to perform, where you will be glad you put the extra effort in choosing the right set.

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