When Should Brake Pads Be Replaced?

Replacing worn out brakes and their components is imperative to maintaining a vehicle’s safety. Generally, there isn’t one set time or mileage at which brake pads need to be replaced. Rather, there are certain signs that will indicate it’s time for a brake pad replacement, and a number of factors that can impact how long brake pads could last.

Signs it’s time to replace your brake pads

Is there a squeaking or squealing sound coming from the area of one of your wheels? Hearing a “metal on metal” noise when you apply your brakes is a sign that your brake pads have worn. That squealing sound could be coming from brake pad indicators, which are metal tabs that contact the brake rotor as the pads reach their wear limit, signaling that it’s time for service.

mechanic replacing brakes on vehicle

Newer vehicles may also have electronic brake pad wear sensors. The service light will illuminate when brake pads in these vehicles are worn.

According to 1A Auto President Mike Green, new brake pads are typically between 3/8 and 1/2 of an inch thick. This guide can also help you determine whether your brake pads need to be replaced.

Factors that affect brake pad life

How long your brake pads last depends on your driving style, condition and frequency.

For example, brake pads on vehicles that drive more on a highway than in city traffic will last longer than those that experience more “stop-and-go” driving.

Road conditions and vehicle weight and purpose can also impact how long brake pads will last. Depending on the quality of the roads on which you drive, you may have to brake more frequently. If you drive a larger vehicle, more force is likely needed to stop a vehicle.

Install new brake pads with replacements from 1A Auto

Replace your worn brake pads with quality pads from 1A Auto and install them yourself with step-by-step help from our mechanics. Search for repair videos specific to your year, make and model in our how-to video library.


Same Day Shipping

In stock orders ship same day when ordered by 2pm ET. Need your part faster? Choose expedited shipping at checkout.


Guaranteed to Fit

Our team of auto experts work hard to provide you with the highest quality, direct fit replacement auto parts. We know not all auto parts are created equal. This is why we enforce a strict level of product standards and sourcing with every part.


USA Customer Support

Our goal is to exceed our customers' expectations every day. We are a team of passionate auto enthusiasts who are here to help. If you have a question about our parts or a repair contact us.


Instructional Video Library

Our 1A Auto Video Library has thousands of how-to auto repair installation videos specific to year, make and model. Each video guides you with step-by-step instructions to empower you to tackle your own repairs on your car, truck, SUV, or van.