Brake pad dimensions are varied, with some measuring 7.6 x 6.9 x 2.6 inches, 6.4 x 4.9 x 2.2 inches, 8.6 x 7.3 x 2.2 inches and many more. They are also available in different styles, but their function is the same: to slow down the vehicle.
How the Brake Pads Work
The driver is able to stop the car because of the friction between the disc brake rotor and the disc brake pad. The brake rotor is positioned so that it turns together with the wheel. The brake pads on the other hand, span the rotor sides as it turns.
Cradling the pads is the brake caliper. As the driver applies the brakes, the pads are squeezed by the caliper against the rotor. This makes the car stop.
Types of Brake Pad Materials
It isn’t just by brake pad dimensions they are distinguished, but also the material used to make them. For a long time, pads were made from asbestos because it could handle high temperatures. When the asbestos related health diseases were discovered, new materials were used to make pads.
The most commonly used are ceramic and carbon based. The early ceramic pads were noisy, but that is no longer the case. During the early days, pads utilized countersink rivets to stick the pad onto the plate.
Location and Identification
Virtually all vehicles have the disc brakes at the front wheels. There are also some with four wheel disc brakes and front disc / brake rear drum brake combinations. All braking materials are called disc brake pads.
To see the disc brake pads, remove the car wheels. You will see a brake rotor or brake drum. You will see the round disc with a clamp at the edge. The clamp is the brake caliper, and the pads are in there. These are steel plate bonded.
Installation and replacement of brake pads requires an expert mechanic. If you notice the brakes holding then letting go or making a lot of noise, take it to the repair shop immediately. A trained mechanic will be able to tell if the brakes are okay or need replacement. Unless you are properly trained, do not attempt to repair it.
Whatever the brake pad dimensions are, they should not be replaced without a resurfacing of the rotors. If you do, the lifespan of the brake pads will be reduced by quite a bit. If you have driven through water, test the brakes on a side road; water can affect the brakes adversely.