Brake Pads vs Brake Rotors

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As a dedicated dealership serving drivers in Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, and Wellington, we want tokeep you in the know. Our team at Braman Honda of Palm Beach works to accomplish this by providing informative guides about important parts of your vehicle, like your braking system. This guide will go over brake pads and brake rotors, two essential components of your car’s brakes.

What are Brake Pads?

Brake Pads vs. Brake Rotors

Let’s get started by looking at the brake pads, which are rectangular plates made of steel and friction material. When we say, “friction material,” we mean ceramic, metallic, or organic material that causes friction between this plate and the brake rotor. These materials can be many different densities ranging from soft to hard based on what your manufacturer recommends or what you prefer as a driver. The brake pads work with the brake caliper, which is a clamp that applies pressure to the brake rotor to slow down the vehicle. This clamp is controlled by the brake pedal you press down with your foot. It’s important to note that brake pads, whether they’re on the harder end of the spectrum of the softer end, can be worn down easily when the braking system is not used properly. Slamming on your brakes is bad, too, and will cause you to have them replaced more frequently.

How About Brake Rotors?

Brake rotors are also known as brake discs because of their shape. These discs are placed on the axle as well as between the clamps of the brake calipers that press down on them. When the brake pedal is pressed down, the brake calipers apply pressure to this disc which slows the axle and brings the vehicle to a stop. The brake rotors are made of hard materials, usually steel or cast iron, and can be cut a couple of different ways. Smaller, lighter vehicles typically come with solid brake rotors. Heavier vehicles, on the other hand, typically call for ventilated brake rotors. These ventilated rotors are somewhat hallowed out to prevent overheating in the braking system.

What’s the Difference?

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Based on what we’ve already covered, it’s easy to see how different brake pads and brake rotors are. We already know they’re made of different materials, take different shapes, and do different jobs. Can there be anything else? Absolutely! All these elements contribute to the one big difference between brake pads and brake rotors, which is how often they need to be serviced and replaced. If you’re using your brakes properly, your brake pads can last for as long as 50,000 miles, and your brake rotors can last as long as 70,000 miles. This means they’ll be on different service schedules, so you’ll want to keep a constant eye and ear on your braking system.

More Questions?

We hope this guide was able to give you a basic understanding of what your vehicle’s brake pads and brake rotors are, and what they do. We welcome any and all additional questions you might have. Schedule service at Braman Honda of Palm Beach or stop by our dealership, just a short drive from Palm Beach, Boynton Beach, Wellington, and Lake Worth.