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How often do brakes need to be replaced?

“The general rule of thumb is to replace your brake pads after 50,000 miles. However, it greatly depends on the vehicle, the driving habits of the driver, and the terrain or type of driving environment.”

How often you should change your brakes depends on many factors. 

The average lifespan of car brakes can be affected by:

 

Vehicle load

- Tow trucks or other heavy-duty vehicles generally have a better or similar brake life compared to passenger vehicles, as they are built with the intent of pulling or carrying heavy items. If a passenger vehicle was to move heavy articles regularly, then the added weight will cause more wear on the car brakes.

 

Driving habits

- Some drivers tend to have a habit of having their foot over the brakes and tend to press it more often than others. By doing so, this may cause the brake pads to wear quicker than usual. 

 

Environment 

- How quickly a brake pad can wear out can also depend on the type of terrain your car is facing. For instance, someone who lives in a city or a heavily populated area might need to use the brakes more often compared to someone who lives in the suburb with less traffic. The same can also apply if the car is on a rocky, dirt road, off-roading in comparison to driving on a smooth and newly-paved asphalt road. By off-roading, the vehicle may wear the brake pads in a faster manner due to the friction from the road. 

Squeaking or screeching noise

- When your brake pads are worn and new pads are required, you will hear a high-pitched warning sound from your front brakes or rear brakes (if equipped). You may notice this sound come and go, or it may occur whenever you depress the brake pedal.

 

Thinning brake pads

- Aside from the squeaking noise, if the brake pad is less than 1/4-inch-thick (approx. 3 millimeters), consider visiting your local Kia Service Center to have the brake pads checked. 

 

A brake pedal that trembles or feels “cushiony”

- The brake pedal should feel sturdy and should not take much effort for the car to stop, but if it requires the driver to push the brake pedal down to the floor, it may indicate a problem with the braking system. 

 

The sound of metal scraping or grating

- This sound is a huge indicator that the brake pads may be down to the last of their lifespan, implying that the calipers and rotors have direct contact. If this grating noise occurs, please visit your local Kia Service Center as soon as possible, as the metal-on-metal contact can cause an extensive amount of damage to your brake system. 

 

Additional physical warning signs may include:

- ABS or brake indicator light appears 

- The car pulling toward one side more than the other

- The steering wheel shuddering or shaking

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