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Brake Pads

Brake Pads
There are two brake pads on each caliper. They are constructed of a metal "shoe" with the lining riveted or bonded to it.   The pads are mounted in the caliper, one on each side of the rotor.  Brake linings used to be made primarily of asbestos because of its heat absorbing properties and quiet operation; however, due to health risks, asbestos has been outlawed, so new materials are now being used.  Brake pads wear out with use and must be replaced periodically. There are many types and qualities of pads available. The differences have to do with brake life (how long the new pads will last) and noise (how quiet they are when you step on the brake). Harder linings tend to last longer and stop better under heavy use but they may produce an irritating squeal when they are applied. Technicians that work on brakes usually have a favorite pad that gives a good compromise that their customers can live with.

Brake pads should be checked for wear periodically. If the lining wears down to the metal brake shoe, then you will have a "Metal-to-Metal" condition where the shoe rubs directly against the rotor causing severe damage and loss of braking efficiency. Some brake pads come with a "brake warning sensor" that will emit a squealing noise when the pads are worn to a point where they should be changed.  This noise will usually be heard when your foot is off the brake and disappear when you step on the brake.  If you hear this noise, have your brakes checked as soon as possible.

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