You probably feel like you have a pretty good understanding of just how important the Volvo brake pads and the rest of the braking system is on your car. But are you familiar with how to change the pads? What about the life of your brake pads? Do you know the signs to watch for that will let you know that the brake pads are wearing out? No worries.
You may not be a mechanic by the time you finish reading this, but you will have a more complete concept of your Volvo brake pads and how to properly care for them.
The Replacement Cycle – How to Measure It
Though in extreme driving conditions, such as excessive starting and stopping, brake pads have been known to wear out in as little as 10000 miles, ordinarily, (depending on specific circumstances) a brake pad lifespan of approximately 50,000 miles can be expected. Here are a few things that can influence your Volvo brake pads’ lifespan:
- Driving conditions
- Vehicle weight
- Brake pad quality
- Driving style
Checking Your Volvo Brake Pads Visually
Look at your brake pad from the side to inspect for wear. Obviously, before the rotors start getting cut into by the metal wear indicator, you want to change your pads. But how thin should that brake pad be before it needs to be replaced? You'll need to replace the brake pads if they are worn to less than 2 3/4 of an inch (1.5 mm). If you wait too long, and that metal wear indicator does start rubbing on your brake rotors, you're going to run into higher replacement expenses due to the additional damage.
In general, there is a 10 mm thickness to most brake pads when they are new. As a rule of thumb, when the brake pad gets down to about half that, it's time to change them. If you depend strictly on the dashboard indicator, which you can find on older cars (these are sometimes referred to as warning lights or dummy lights), to tell you when to change your brake pads, it could be too late or too early.
Waiting Too Long for Repairs
Your automobile brakes are crucial. Waiting too long to fix them invites disaster. Plus, your entire braking system can suffer if you neglect repairing your brake pads in a timely manner. Here are a few things that can happen:
- Due to heat damage that will result if your brake pads are overly worn, bad things can happen to your entire braking system – i.e., hoses, brake oils, linings, warning sensors, rotors, and calipers.
- Vapor lock, which affects the brake oil, can occur which can lead to brake fade.
- The indicator and rotor will be damaged due to the rotor surface being attacked by the metal wear indicator.
- If we’re talking about disc brakes, not only can the rotors become uneven and scratched (thereby decreasing their effectiveness) but the brake calipers will be affected by extremely thin brake pads as well.
Bottom line – keep a good eye on your Volvo brake pads. They could be the difference between life and death.