What Is A Brake Pad And How Does It Work?

The brake pads are arguably some of the most important parts of your Mitsubishi. They're instrumental in stopping your car once you apply the brakes. Since brake pads do a lot of work to bring your heavy vehicle to a halt on a dime, they wear out quicker than most of the other parts on your car.

Brake Pads: The Basics

For such an important part that can bring a 2-ton vehicle to a complete stop within seconds, a brake pad is surprisingly small. It's a semi-crescent shaped pad with a metal backing plate and about 12mm of friction material. The entire brake pad is about 5 inches long and a few inches wide.

Brake pads set

Brake pads for 2014-2018 Outlanders: part #4605B806

In a disc braking system, there's one brake pad on each side of each rotor. There's a brake caliper wrapped around each rotor, and a brake pad is nestled in each side of the caliper.

How Do Brake Pads Help Stop Your Car?

When you press down on the brake pedal, your car almost instantly stops. How does that happen? How is the braking system able to react so quickly, and what part do brake pads play in all this? Here's how the science of stopping works:

  1. The brake pedal creates hydraulic pressure when pressed.
  2. The hydraulic pressure forces the caliper piston out.
  3. The force created by the piston squeezes the brake pads inwards against the rotor.
  4. A substantial amount of heat and friction is created between the pads and rotor, which stops the rotor from spinning. This process is actually converting kinetic energy (forward motion) into thermal energy (heat).
  5. The car stops moving.

Changing Your Brake Pads


The general rule of thumb for replacing your brake pads is every 50,000 miles. However, it really depends on your driving style, the environment, and the kind of brake pads you use. Some people have to replace their brake pads every 25,000 miles, while others have the luxury of waiting until the 70,000 mile mark before their brake pads finally go bad.

You can either check or replace your brake pads in regular intervals or wait until you notice the signs of worn brake pads. Those signs may include squealing noises, grinding noises, and reduced braking performance. Keep in mind that it's very wise to replace the brake pads as soon as the symptoms crop up. Otherwise, the rotor will get damaged and you'll have to replace it as well.

The good news is that replacing your brake pads is a pretty easy job. Also, OEM replacement brake pads are inexpensive if you order some from us at wholesale pricing.

If you have any questions about brake pads that aren't answered in this article, please contact us and we'll be happy to answer them for you!