Brake Finder

What Happens if You Don’t Change Brake Pads

You should understand what can happen if you don’t change brake pads or have someone else do it for you.

The first thing to know is brake pads are expected to wear out as you drive your car or truck. Even a new vehicle warranty won’t cover worn brake pads.

Brake Pad Components

Every brake pad has two components.

  1. First is the steel backing plate made to fit each vehicle’s brake system.
  2. The second component is the brake or friction material that is bound and possibly riveted to the backing plate. This friction material wears away when you apply the brake pedal.

As the friction material wears, the brake backing plates get closer and closer to the brake rotor.

When all of the friction material is gone, the backing plate will contact the rotor.

At this point, several things start to happen, all of them expensive.

Brake Pad Deterioration Effects

  1. The backing plate grinds into the brake rotor with a loud grinding noise which you should pay attention to.
    1. This grinding quickly and permanently damages the rotor and means the rotors and the brake pads must be replaced.
    2. Adding the cost of rotors can more than double the price of brake repair. Because rotors are designed to last longer than brake pads, rotors are more expensive.
  2. If you don’t replace the pads right away and still drive the vehicle, the rotors can get so hot they explode. A hot and exploding rotor can damage other parts, including calipers, wheel bearings, and brake lines.
  3. You may not hear the grinding noise if you are playing music, have the heater or air conditioner fan on, and/or have the windows closed. All these can muffle the grinding sound.
  4. You could end up in an expensive and dangerous situation. The vehicle may not stop. Many people have experienced the alarming feeling of pressing on the brake pedal, and the vehicle keeps going. It’s a helpless feeling and can cause an accident.

Brake Pad Life Expectancy

Modern brake pads are designed to last several years under normal driving conditions. Your pads can last a longer or shorter amount of time depending on where you live and your driving habits.

  • If you tow a trailer or carry heavy loads, pads don’t last as long.
  • If you travel long distances and don’t use your brakes much, your pads can last much longer.

Be safe and ensure your brake pads are in good working order. Save money and change them yourself or have an auto repair shop check the wear on the brake pads.

About Goodyear Brakes

Goodyear Brakes manufactures premium quality brake bundles, calipers, rotors, brake pads and all the hardware required to successfully install brakes, all backed by a national warranty, decades of production experience and one of the best-known names in automotive excellence. The brake pads are manufactured in the USA using a proprietary green production process by a company with more than 50 years of experience in friction science. The Goodyear Brakes product line is available through Goodyear Brakes at Amazon, CarID, Buy Brakes and AutoAnything.

Goodyear (and Winged Foot Design) and Blimp Design are trademarks of The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company used under license by FDP Virginia Inc., 1076 Airport Road, Tappahannock, VA 22560, USA. Copyright 2020 The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company. Goodyear Brakes and FDP Virginia are not responsible for its products when they are subjected to improper applications, installation, or accident.


More Topics

Brake Pads: When to Change

Brake Pads: How to Change

Brake Pads: Tools & Equipment