What Is A Brake Pad And Why Is It Important?

Brake pads are some of the most essential parts of your Land Rover's braking system. Since brake pads don't last forever and will need to be replaced eventually - and it's easy to replace the brake pads yourself - you might want to know a thing or two about brake pads.

In this article, we'll talk about what brake pads are and why they play an important part in stopping your Land Rover safely.

What Does a Brake Pad Look Like?

In a disc brake system, you'll find a brake pad on either side of a disc (also called rotor). A brake pad is a semi-crescent shaped pad with a metal backing plate and friction material that's about 8-16mm thick. OEM Land Rover brake pads are made of semi-metallic friction material. A brake pad is about 8 inches long and 2-3 inches wide.

Brake pads

An illustration of brake pads for 2011-2012 Range Rovers (part #LR032903)

Even though brake pads are small parts compared to other parts like the rotor and wheels, they're one of the most important components in your car's braking system.

How Do Brake Pads Work?

Brake pads work with the rotors to create friction to stop the vehicle. Here's how the process works:

  1. When you first hit the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is pressurized in the master cylinder.
  2. The master cylinder forces the hydraulic fluid to all four calipers at the same time.
  3. At all 4 wheels the pressure from the hydraulic fluid pushes the brake caliper pistons out. That causes the caliper to clamp the brake pads against the rotor.
  4. A substantial amount of heat and friction is created by the brake pads against the rotor to stop the rotor from spinning. That in turn brings the vehicle to a full stop.

How Often do Brake Pads Need to be Replaced?

Since brake pads have to come in contact with the rotors every time you apply the brakes, the friction material on brake pads wears out over time. Brake pads commonly wear out after 30,000-50,000 miles. They may wear out sooner or later, though. It's a good idea to check your brake pads periodically, perhaps every time you rotate your tires (which you should do every 5,000 miles).

Worn pads

Worn brake pads. Photo credit: Troy Sankey

When it's finally time to replace your brake pads, you can save a lot of money by ordering genuine OEM Land Rover brake pads from us. Dealerships drastically mark up their prices for OEM parts, while we offer the very same parts for just above wholesale pricing. Check out our catalog of OEM brake pads here!