A Beginner’s Guide to Brake Pads and Discs

Car brake disc

You can get carried away with ‘brakes’ as a whole, but a brake system is made up of a number of different parts like brake pads and discs, calipers and fluids; all of which play their own important roles in slowing your vehicle down and bringing it safely to a stop.


As such, when it comes to checking the condition of your brakes, you’ll need to keep an eye on the condition of parts such as the brake pads and discs, the brake rotors and also your brake fluid levels.


If you notice a difference in the way your car is performing, the most common solution could be that your brake pads and discs need replacing.


At Car Parts 4 Less, we pride ourselves on our wide selection of brake pads and other brake accessories, making it easy to access the right type for your vehicle at a price that suits your budget.


However, with so many options available, it can be difficult to know which type of brake pad to choose – and if you’re no car expert, it can be hard to spot the warning signs that your pads might be in need of replacing.


So we’ve put together this quick guide to help you select the right brake pads for your vehicle, whatever the make and models, from the Car Parts 4 Less range.


The AA have also provided a breakdown of dashboard warning lights, if you need to find out what is wrong with your car quickly, with brake-related issues among the most common dashboard errors.

The warning signs

There are several indications that your car may require new brake pads. If you spot any of the following, it may mean your brake pads need replacing:


  • Pulsating brake pedal

If you feel a strange vibration when you depress the brake pedal, it may be a sign that your brake pads are worn out or have warped in the heat generated by the friction used to slow or stop the vehicle.


  • Clicking sounds from the brakes

When you apply your brakes, listen out for a clicking or rattling sound. If this happens, it means that your car requires new brake pads.


  • Screeching noise from the brakes

Similarly, if your brakes start to sound screechy when fully depressed (and you can hear them when the windows are closed), you may require new pads. If the noise occurs frequently, you should look into replacing your brake system as soon as possible.


  • Grinding sound from the brakes

If you apply the brakes and hear a grinding or growling noise, this indicates that you may need to replace the rotors as well as the brake pads. The noise is due to the brake pads being fully worn down, causing the metal disc and the calliper to rub together which can cause further, more extreme damage to the brakes.


  • Brake pads are too thin

In addition to noises, there are visual indications to watch out for too. You can check the thickness of your brake pads by looking through your car’s wheel spokes. If you can see less than a quarter of the brake pad, you’ll need to replace it.

Maintaining brake pads and discs

Car brake pads and discs

Of course, if maintained properly, you will eliminate the need to look out for warning signs and you’ll get far better performance out of your car as a result. So what should you do?


  • Check your disc brakes regularly

By checking your disc brakes (or rotors) regularly for signs of damage, you’ll quickly spot whether or not they need to be replaced before it’s too late. To do this, you’ll need to remove the tyre – look out for signs of uneven wear, rusting or scoring.

  • Check the brake calliper and brake pads

Before replacing your tyre, gently shake the brake calliper to make sure it is securely in place. Brake pads that are looking too thin will need to be replaced. If you can see the metal showing through then you may also have to replace the brake disc.

  • Regularly replace brake fluid

Your brake fluid reservoir is found under the car bonnet, usually towards the back on the driver’s side. It has clear markings on the side to indicate where the fluid level should be.


To add more brake fluid, clean the area around the cap, lift it and slowly pour the fluid in until it reaches the optimum level. Replace the cap and check the level again in a few days just to ensure that there are no leaks in the system.


We stock a wide variety of brake fluid here at Car Parts 4 Less.

Choosing the right brake pads and discs

At Car Parts 4 Less, you’ll find a great selection of brake pads from leading brands and manufacturers. Here’s a rundown of our top four:


  • Eicher Brakes – these brake pads are our best-sellers and at a fraction of the cost of most other brands.
  • PAGID – Car Parts 4 Less highly recommends PAGID brake pads for both the front and rear of your vehicle. Great value-for-money, these pads provide great stopping power and generate minimum brake dust.
  • Bosch – combining superb and reliable performance with great quality, our customers have relied on Bosch brake pads for many years.
  • Textar – For quieter, cleaner braking, it’s got to be Textar. Although a little pricier than some brands, you’ll find them well worth the money.


If you are unsure and need expert advice get in touch our customer service team and we will be able to help.

With FREE standard delivery and next day delivery available on many of our products, you can get your brakes working again in no time. So enter your registration number now to access the best brake pads for your vehicle at a budget-friendly price – thanks to Car Parts 4 Less.