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How Long Do Brakes Last on a Truck?

Nothing will cause your heart to stop like the moment your truck won’t stop. When your truck brakes fail you, chaos can ensue. You’re driving a heavy vehicle, possibly with a heavy load, and your momentum is significant. 

A truck with failed brakes can cause all kinds of catastrophic damage. 

You can avoid this scenario by having your brakes checked regularly and then changed when needed. But how do you know if you need new brakes on your truck? How long do brakes last on a truck? 

By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will know how long your brakes should last on your truck, the factors that affect brake wear and tear, and the ways you can maximize your brakes. 

How Long Do Brakes Last On a Truck? 

Generally speaking, truck experts recommend having brake pads replaced after you’ve driven a vehicle 45,000 miles. Some trucks need brake replacements after as little as 25,000m miles while other truck brakes can last up to 68,000 miles. 

Once you’ve driven your truck 25,000 miles, begin to have the truck brakes checked regularly at your scheduled tune-ups. Maintenance inspections can give the mechanic the best picture of how quickly or slowly your brakes are wearing down. 

Make sure you’re using a qualified truck mechanic. They will have truck brakes replacement services specific to trucks and not just cars. Furthermore, they’ll understand how quickly truck breaks can wear down compared to car brakes. 

Factors That Affect Your Brake Pads

A truck brakes life time depends heavily on several factors. The above recommendations have a 40,000-mile gap between the soonest and the latest times you’ll need to replace brakes. The following circumstances play into this big gap. 

Driving Habits

A driver’s driving habits directly impact how often you’ll need new truck brakes. The harder you push your brakes, the shorter their lifespan will be. 

Thus, if you are one who normally pushes hard on the brakes, you’ll wear your brake pads down more quickly. If you press on the brakes slowly and gradually, then you can maximize the lifespan of your brakes. Brake hard only when necessary to make the most of your brakes. 

Brake Pad Hardness

The hardness of your brake pads also determines their lifespan. Harder brake pads typically last longer. They need warm environments, though for optimal performance. 

If you drive a performance truck, then you should have harder brake pads. If you’re driving a truck that runs at normal speeds, however, you should have a softer brake pad. Too much heat causes a glaze on the rotor’s surface, making stopping more difficult. 

Transmission Types

The type of transmission your truck also affects the life of your brake pad. Vehicles with manual transmissions can rely on engine braking as well as their brake pads to slow down. Engine braking means you take your foot off the gas and allow the vehicle to downshift gears, which thus slows the vehicle down without you touching the brake. 

If you have an automatic transmission, you should engage your brakes to slow down. Engine braking can damage the transmission of a vehicle with an automatic transmission system. 

Condition of Rotors and Calipers

The condition of your rotors and calipers will also affect your brake pads. If you have a warped rotor or stuck brake caliper, your brake pads will wear out sooner than normal. 

The rotors, calipers, and brake pads should all work together. When one isn’t working smoothly, the other parts do not work as well either.

You’ll know you have a stuck caliper if you smell a burning smell as you break. If the truck feels jittery when you try to stop, then have the rotor checked. 

Driving Environment

Your driving environment affects your brakes as well. For example, if you drive in heavy traffic more than on straight, smooth roads, you will engage your brakes more and need replacement sooner. 

Also, if you drive on rugged terrain, you’ll engage your brakes more frequently and need a replacement sooner than if you drive on straight, flat roads. 

Maximizing Your Brake Pads

You can affect the life of your brake pads by making a few small changes, both in the truck you drive as well as the way you drive. Here are a few basic tips. 

Drive More Slowly

When you drive more slowly, your brakes exert less force to stop your car. Less force means less pressure on the brake pads. As a result, they will last longer. 

If you drive slowly, you’ll also conserve fuel and save yourself money down the road. So you’ll have longer-lasting, better functioning brake pads, and a more efficient vehicle. 

Reduce Truck Weight

The heavier your vehicle, the more force your brakes need to stop it. So if you can lighten your load in any way, do so. Check the back seat, carrier areas, and anywhere else. This is the simplest way to conserve fuel and save your brake pads. 

Engine Braking

Engine braking on manual transmission vehicles significantly reduces the stress put on brake pads. Use your transmission to your advantage if you have a manual transmission. Take your foot off the accelerator, then downshift through the gears as the vehicle slows down. 

You will only have to use your brakes if you have an emergency or if your car is moving in first gear. This requires little brake force, and you’ll save your brake pads. 

Check Your Brakes Regularly

So, how long do brakes last on a truck? The answers will vary from 25,000 miles up to 80,000 miles. But ultimately, the driver determines the answer to this question. 

Put your truck on a regular maintenance schedule so the brake technician can keep an eye on your braking system. Then practice responsible driving to maximize the brakes on your truck. 

Do you need good brake service? If so, contact us. Our technicians work hard to please customers and give them the best brake service possible. 

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