Are you sure your braking system is still working as well as it can? Read our mini-guide to find out!


 Five questions to decide if it is time to replace discs, pads or other braking system components.

It is holiday time and millions of families will be taking to the road to reach their favorite vacation spots. Whether you love the beach, the mountains or the culture of cities, before you leave it is best to ensure that your car's braking system is fully efficient.

For this reason Brembo answers 5 questions below regarding the maintenance of your car' braking system.

These recommendations are useful all year round, but especially before hitting the road.


  1. 1) What's the difference in the braking force and braking distance (in meters) when the braking system is in perfect operating condition compared to when it is nearing the time for obligatory disc and pad replacement?


The difference can't be quantified in generic terms because it depends on a lot of factors: the wear condition of the friction components, the type of braking system and its size, and the specific vehicle.

Normally, drivers automatically adapt to or compensate for a part of the efficiency loss due to brake wear, varying their driving style and manner of braking as they use the car.
It is an automatic process that is done without actually realizing it; in standard braking, this reaction enables filling the gap, at least partially, caused by the loss of efficiency of the braking system.

On the other hand, in emergency braking or use in critical conditions (Alpine slopes), all of the system's braking force is necessary, as is all of the capacity to dissipate the generated heat. It becomes especially evident in these situations, when a worn down braking system reveals all of its limitations compared to a system in good condition.

Keep in mind, pads wear down faster and even deteriorate when the discs are worn, and the opposite is also true when the pads are worn.

The components wear down less when they are relatively new, as opposed to components that are already very worn.
A worn down system generates much higher temperatures, which leads to a number of related problems.



2) How do you check if a disc is no longer efficient?

Unfortunately, the efficiency of the braking system isn't easy to test. But it is easy, and a good idea, to check the components regularly. Checking the brakes is recommended every 15,000/20,000 kilometers but should be done immediately if vibration is felt.

The main signs that indicate wear or deterioration of the disc or the pads are:
• Appearance of the warning light (where present and only for the pads)
• Noise during braking
• Vibration
• Presence of deep circular lines or radial cracking on the braking surface
• Signs of overheating In certain instances, the level of the brake fluid can also provide useful information on the wear of the discs and pads.

When pads and discs are worn, the small piston on the brake caliper needs to carry out greater excursion to compensate for the loss in thickness of the disc and/or pad, absorbing in turn a greater amount of brake fluid, which will make the level go down.


3) Sometimes there are black stains on the rim that look like pieces of melted pad: what causes this? Does it mean the pad is of low-quality or especially worn out?

It just means that the friction material wore away during braking. It isn't a sign of low quality pads or extreme braking.

It is nothing more than a result of friction material wear.



4) Many people say the discs should be replaced every other time the pads are changed. Is this right?

It is important to remember that when you replace the brake discs, you must change the pads as well.

On the contrary, it is possible to replace the pads without changing the brake discs, if the discs are not too worn (if the thickness of the braking surface is not near or below than the minimum established by the manufacturer as indicated on the external diameter of the disc itself).

The pads wear out faster than the discs. Usually one set of pads lasts half the time of a disc, so the 2 to 1 ratio is considered correct in most cases.


5) When, and if, is it necessary to replace the brake calipers too?

The need to replace the brake calipers and the other hydraulic components of the braking system (hoses, brake cylinder, brake master cylinder) does not come about because of friction wear, but because of deterioration or accidental breakage.

Should this be the case, Brembo offers a complete range of regenerated calipers, an alternative solution to replacing the calipers with new ones, the same quality and safety.


The regeneration procedure for the calipers requires meeting the same rigorous technical standards that the original equipment does. It also means cleaning the caliper and replacing all of the internal components that are subject to wear and deterioration with totally new components.

Then, all of the Brembo calipers are coated with a protective anti-corrosion layer and put through functional tests that guarantee they work perfectly.
Besides being economic and reliable, regenerated Brembo brake calipers are also an Eco-friendly choice that is consistent with the Company's policies, which are based on reducing the environmental impact, and in this specific case, making it possible to recycle the caliper body.