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Why Do Brake Pads Wear Unevenly?

Brian Bates



Most car owners have experienced needing new brakes at least once. It's regular maintenance to every vehicle. Brake pads are the most replaced part when it comes to the braking system. A common question asked is 'why are my brake pads wearing more on one side than the other?

One answer is because of a thing called caliper failure. The caliper has a piston inside of it, when you press in the brakes, the piston pushes into the brake pad. When you release, a seal inside of the caliper let's go and this triggers the piston to pull away from the pad. There are a few ways to tell if this is the issue. If you notice your vehicle pulling more to one side than the other or if you hear a loud high-pitched squealing. Also if you hear metal scraping when you stop or if you see brake fluid leaking by your tires.

Another reason why your brake pads would wear unevenly is because of something called DTV or Disc Thickness Variation. In some cases, your brake pads wearing isn't due to the brake pads at all. Sometimes the rotors are to blame. The brake rotors can also wear unevenly. DTV is caused by rust, dirt or even slamming on your brakes frequently.

For those who are beginner mechanics, brake pads need to be put on evenly on both sides. They need to be able to evenly squeeze the rotor when you need them too. If off placed, they will wear differently and not be able to do their job.

If you feel as if your brake pads are wearing unevenly, don't waste any time on getting then replaced. When it comes to a vehicle, one issue usually leads to a snowball effect of bigger issues. You also don't want to just switch out one side and not the other, because you’ll end up with unevenly worn brake pads indefinitely. It's best to get all of your brake pads done at the same time. 

If you need brake system repair in Littleton, CO, give South Park Tire & Auto Center a call today!

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