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Know Your Brake Wear

brake wear 1 - Know Your Brake Wear

Brake systems, like tires, should wear evenly at all times. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen. So if your vehicle is experiencing brake wear, and you want to know how to address it, this article is for you. 

Even Wear

brake wear 2 - Know Your Brake Wear

The first type of brake wear is even worn. This happens when your brake systems are operating normally and evenly. If you see your brake pads are wearing out evenly, you don’t have to worry about anything in the near future. However, if your brake pads have worn thin, you may need to replace them soon. 

Inner Pad Wear

This happens when the inboard pad shows more wear than the outboard pad. This can be caused by worn caliper pistons not allowing the piston to return to its resting position, seized up caliper guide pins and bushings, pads seized in slides, damaged or corroded pistons, or other problems with the master cylinder.

You can address this problem by inspecting the hydraulic brake system for residual brake pressure, servicing or replacing the caliper guide pins and bushings, or by lubricating the caliper slides. Of course, you may also want to replace the brake pads with new ones.

Outer Pad Wear

This is the inverse of the inner pad wear. Outer pad wear can be caused by the outer pad continuing to ride on the rotor even after the caliper has been released, when the caliper guide pins and bushings are seized, or when the pads get seized inside the slides. 

This problem can be addressed by servicing or replacing the caliper guide pins and bushings, lubricating the caliper slides, and inspecting the caliper for damaged guide pinholes. Replace the brake pads in order to complete the repairs. 

Tapered Pad Wear

brake wear 3 - Know Your Brake Wear

This type of pad wear can either be horizontal or vertical depending on the circumstances. A wedged pattern forms on the pad due to errors during the installation of the pads or when there is one guide pin or slide being seized up when braking.

This can be solved by servicing or replacing the caliper guide pins and bushings, servicing or lubricating the caliper slides, and inspecting the caliper for damage to the guide pinholes. Like the previous types of wear, replacing the brake pads is a necessary step. 

Cracked, Glazed, or Lifted Edges on the Pads

brake wear 4 - Know Your Brake Wear

This kind of wear happens when your brake pads get damaged by intense heat or usage of the brakes. This often happens when the brakes are overused, improperly broken in, or defective. Alternatively, this can happen when the hydraulic system has problems that prevent the release of pressure, or when the caliper is not releasing properly due to seized components. 

These can be fixed by performing the recommended break-in procedure, inspecting the caliper for damage, servicing caliper guide pins and bushings, lubricating caliper slides, inspecting the caliper for damage to the guide pin holes, re-evaluating your brake pad selection, and adjusting the parking brake. 

Overlapping Friction Material

Overlapping friction material happens when the top edge of the pad overlaps the top of the rotor. The wrong rotors or pads on the vehicle–or worn guide pins, calipers, or caliper brackets–are the most common causes for this type of wear. 

This can easily be solved by replacing the pads and properly inspecting the specific rotor measurements for your vehicle. 

brake kit - Know Your Brake Wear

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