There’s much more to using your Mazda 3’s braking system than just pressing the pedal when you need to suddenly stop. The braking system of all vehicles is made up of parts that transfers your action on the pedal into stopping power that brings it to a halt. One of these parts is the brake pads. Brake pads are an essential piece of your Mazda’s braking system, as they’re the part that comes in contact and applies friction and pressure to the rotors (the shiny, flat discs that can be seen behind the wheels). This pressure and friction are what slows and stops your Mazda.
Even though the role of the brake pads is rather straightforward, the brake pads themselves are quite complicated. Because the wheels rotate very quickly, and vehicles are very heavy, the brake pads are placed under a lot of stress every time you press the brake pedal. Just imagine trying to hold onto a heavy metal disc that’s spinning really fast. Brake pads are available in a wide range of materials, and they all have distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Organic Brake Pads
Organic brake pads were initially made using asbestos. Asbestos is a material with great absorption and heat-dissipating properties. However, when asbestos breaks down, it creates brake dust that’s harmful. And brake pads can be notorious for creating brake pads, especially organic ones. For this reason, most new organic brake pads are manufactured using safer organic materials, such as glass, rubber, kevlar or other materials that can withstand copious amounts of heat. All of these materials are soft, don’t pollute when they wear down, ruin quiet and are safe to dispose of. The downside to organic brake pads is that they wear faster. Due to this, organic brake pads aren’t suitable for heavy vehicles like trucks or high-performance vehicles that require a lot of stopping power. They’re suitable for smaller cars that don’t do aggressive driving.
Ceramic Brake Pads
Ceramic brake pads provide the best braking performance out of all types, and they’re the most long-lasting and lightweight. The downside to these brake pads is that they’re the most expensive. They’re made up from bonding agents, filler material and ceramic fibres, and they may even include copper fibres as well. The ceramic fibres are great at dissipating heat, ensuring great performance even after repeated stops from high speed. They don’t break down as easily, and they create less dust than other types. Due to their high price, ceramic brake pads are typically used in sports applications. Their high costs make them not worth it for most everyday drivers.
Metallic Brake Pads
Most vehicles come equipped with metallic brake pads. These brake pads are made up of materials like steel, copper, iron and graphite, plus filler material to bond them all together. The reason why these brake pads are the most popular is due to the fact that they’re durable and cost-effective. If you’re looking for replacement Mazda 3 brake pads, you should definitely consider metallic brake pads. They’re great at transferring heat and offer great performance. The downside to these Mazda3 brake pads is that they’re heavier, which can negatively impact fuel economy. Furthermore, this makes them unsuitable for high-performance driving. The durability, cost and longevity, however, still make them the best choice for many people.
When Should You Replace Your Brake Pads?
Most vehicles, including your Mazda, are fitted with sensors that detect when your brake pads need to be replaced. There are a few general signs that you should look out for. The most obvious one is the warning light on your dashboard, which indicates when your brake lights are almost worn out and need replacement. However, not every vehicle has sensors to detect this, so you have to make sure the pads are inspected and checked by a mechanic frequently. Another sign that your pads are worn down is a loud screeching sound when braking. The brake pads can be inspected for wear and tear visually on most vehicles. You can usually see the outer pad by taking a look through the wheel spokes. The pad should be at least 3mm thick, so if it’s less, consider replacing them. Most brake pads should be replaced every 70.000-100.000km or so, depending on the type of driving you do and the type of brake pads.
How to Make Your Pads Last Longer?
The best way to preserve the longevity of your brake pads is to anticipate braking situations by being aware in traffic. Always apply the brakes gradually and steady instead of slamming the pedal. Furthermore, you can avoid high-speed driving, as that requires sudden braking, which places the pads under more pressure. Similarly, you want to accelerate gently, and drive as lightly as you can. Putting the brake pads under as little stress as possible will ensure you get the most out of them.