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Your brakes are the most important part of your car. If they’re not working properly, you can’t slow your car down effectively. This leaves you at greater risk of an accident. If you notice any braking problems, you should book a brake pad replacement, brake disc replacement or other brake repairs near you as soon as possible.
When you press down on the brake pedal, it activates a plunger in the master cylinder. This forces brake fluid through the system which, in turn, applies pressure on the other brake components. These are forced against the wheels and slow your car down.
There are two main types of brakes: disc brakes and drum brakes. Most modern cars use disc braking systems on the front wheels and drum brakes on the rear, while older cars use drum brakes on both the front and rear wheels.
Disc brake systems have two pads per wheel. These clamp down on the brake disc when the pedal is depressed. Pressurised brake fluid sends a plunger in the calliper forward, forcing the brake pads to squeeze either side of the brake disc. This slows your vehicle down.
Drum brakes work the same way, but use braking shoes instead of pads. These are stored in the steel brake drum itself and, when pressure is applied, the wheel cylinder expands. This component forces the brake shoes apart and towards the inside edge of the drum.
A modern braking system is made up of the following parts:
Most modern vehicles now use anti-lock braking systems (ABS) to make braking safer. They can identify wheels that are about to lock up and help you avoid a skid or loss of control under heavy braking. The only surfaces where ABS isn’t effective are ice, gravel or other slippery surfaces.
Front brake pads last between 25,000 and 60,000 miles. Rear brake pads last longer because the front pads sustain about 70% of the braking load. However, they are unlikely to last beyond 60,000 miles.
Brake discs can last between 80,000 and 120,000 miles on average, but you should change them every 50,000 miles. This means a mechanic may suggest changing your brake pads and discs together in order to make it more cost-effective for you in the long run. This is more likely if you usually brake in an aggressive manner because you can shorten the lifespan of both your brake pads and discs.
You should book a brake pad replacement if you notice any of the following warning signs:
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should book a brake pad replacement at a garage near you as soon as possible. You should also keep track of your brake pad replacement intervals so you don’t leave it too long between changes. While brake pads can last 60,000 miles, you should look to change them earlier to avoid excess deterioration.
The average UK brake pad replacement cost is £127.94 for front brake pads and £122.23 for rear brake pads, according to bookings made through BookMyGarage.
The average combined brake pad and disc replacement cost is £224 for front pads and discs and £249 for rear pads and discs.
When you compare brake pad replacement deals through BookMyGarage, you can save up to 70%. Simply enter your reg and postcode to compare instant prices from garages near you and book the best deal. You can filter by price, distance, availability or reviews - whatever matters most to you. Then, select a date and time to complete the booking.
There’s no upfront payment and the transparent prices include the full cost of your brake pad replacement. You deal with the garage directly and you never have to worry about hidden extras. When you compare and save with BookMyGarage, you always get the best deal near you.
On average, it takes between 1-3 hours to fit a new set of brake pads and brake discs. A brake pad replacement usually takes between 30-60 minutes and a brake disc change takes roughly the same length of time.
Sometimes, you just need professional reassurance that your car doesn’t have a brake problem. Other times, your problem is nothing to do with your brake pads or discs. That’s where our range of other brake repairs comes in.
You can book a brake fluid replacement or a brake inspection to determine what other brake repairs you need.
How to be a better driver
Whether you’re driving in Darlington or further afield, think about road user etiquette. Showing respect for other road users makes driving more pleasant for you and safer for everyone. For example, if you have to make a last minute change of lane, make your request to change clear to the driver who will need to let you in - and signal your thanks if they do. Be ready to abandon the change of lane if they won’t play ball - your safety (and that of other drivers and pedestrians) is more important than getting to your destination in the shortest time possible. When the position is reversed and a driver asks your permission to change lanes, allow them to as long as it is safe. If you get frustrated, avoid using your horn - it won’t improve matters and might make them considerably worse.
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