How Many Brake Pads Per Wheel and How They Work?

Brake pad is an essential braking and safety system component in the car wheels that enables the car to slow down or come to a complete halt. If you start experiencing braking issues, it could mean the brake pads need replacement. Brake pads wear off over time due to normal use.

Most people often ask how many brake pads per wheel or how many brakes does a car have when they want to change their brake pads. Don’t worry; we’ll answer all these questions in this article. But first, let’s explain how brake pads work.

how many brake pads per wheel

Brake Pads Explained

As explained earlier, brake pad is an important component that helps slow or stop a car when the driver steps on the brake pedal. They consist of two main parts – a flat steel plate and a frictional material on the steel plate.

When you step on the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid flows through the lines to the wheels, and the caliper pistons push the pads against the rotors. The friction between the pads and the rotors slows or stops the wheels from moving, depending on the applied force.

As you already know, cars turn into road beasts, and the wheels spin very fast. So, slowing or stopping this wheel from moving by using friction will cause heavy stress on the brake pad’s frictional materials, making them wear off over time.

Some factors like your driving style, how often you drive, and the type of brake pad will determine how fast the brakes will wear off. For example, if you do stop-and-go driving frequently or drives in heavy traffic where you need to apply the brakes regularly, you’ll need to replace the pads more often than someone that doesn’t drive regularly.

Similarly, if you use NAO pads, the pads will wear faster than semi-metallic and ceramic brake pads. And rear brake pads last longer than front pads because the front brake does most of the braking jobs.

how many brakes does a car have

How Many Brake Pads Per Wheel?

The importance of a car braking system cannot be overemphasized. Brakes consist of several components. For instance, on disc braking systems (which are common with modern vehicles), a wheel will have one brake caliper, one disc rotor, and two brake pads. The brake disc is attached to the wheel hub and spins at the same speed as the wheel.

So, if you were asking, how many brake rotors per wheel? The answer is one. And we have two brake pads per wheel – the inner and outer brake pads.

Many sports cars use disc brakes on the front and back axles. Meanwhile, many passenger cars have disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the back axle. If your car uses disc brakes on the front wheel alone, then you may ask how many sets of brake pads do I need for front brakes.

If your car uses brake pads on the front and rear axles, you need one set of brake pads for the front wheel and another for the rear wheels. Each brake pad set has four pads, two for each wheel. And, if the car uses pads on only the front brakes, then you’ll buy one set of brake pads.

Finally, your car has eight brake pads if you have disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels, which means four brake pads on the front and four on the rear wheels. However, if your car uses only disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the back axles, the vehicle will have a total of four brake pads.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

Q: Do cars have 2 or 4 brake pads?

Every car has two front brakes and two rear brakes. Older vehicles use disc brakes on the front wheels and drum brakes on the back wheels. However, two front and two back brakes don’t mean the car has two or four brake pads.

Cars have two brake pads on each wheel with disc brakes. This means a car can either have a total of four or eight brake pads.

Q: Are there two brake pads per wheel?

Yes, a disc brake system has two brake pads per wheel. Since each wheel requires two pads, the brake pads come in pairs. Meanwhile, you have to change the brakes in pairs. If you want to change brake pads, you can either replace the two front or rear wheels simultaneously or replace both four wheels.

Q: Do all 4 tires have brake pads?

Older vehicles use disc brakes on the front and drum brakes on the rear axles, while some newer vehicles have disc brakes on all four wheels. Therefore, all four tires will have brake pads if your baby ride has disc brakes on all the wheels. On the other hand, if your baby ride has disc brakes on only the front wheels, then only the front tires will have brake pads.

Q: How many brake pads does a front wheel have?

A typical car has one brake rotor, one caliper, and two brake pads on each front wheel. The pads are installed inside the calipers with their friction material facing the brake rotor. Each wheel on the front has two pads, and a total of four brake pads on the two front wheels.

Q: How many brake pads do I need to buy?

It depends on your car’s make, model, and braking system. Cars typically have four or eight brakes, depending on the braking system. So, your brake pads need an inspection if you hear squealing, metallic, or screeching noises from the wheels.

When buying brake pads, you can buy one set if you only have disc brakes on the front or two if you have disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels. If you’re wondering, do brake pads come in sets of 2 or 4? The answer is four. Each set of brake pads contains pads for both wheels on the same axle.

Final Words

This article has explained how many brake pads per wheel are in all cars. Plus, we have seen how brake pads work. Vehicles have two brake pads per wheel, making them four on each axle.

Finally, the total number of brake pads in a car depends on the braking system. It can be either four or eight.

Osuagwu Solomon

Osuagwu Solomon is a seasoned automotive technician for the past 9 years, and a technical writer. He loves writing about auto professional repair guides, DIY repair guides, and buyer’s guide. After spending six years in the automotive workshop, he decided to impact his knowledge to people aside his domain, and he has achieved this by centering his Automotive writing skills on REPAIRS.

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