Prepare for MOT Test
General Car maintenance
|Your brake linings are the part of
the brake pad or brake shoe that is designed to wear down during
use. The wear is designed to protect the non wearable components
such as brake drums or brake disks. These components will wear
through time, but the lining material is designed to wear down
faster to help extend the life of disks and drums.
Checking brake linings
How to check brake pads
Brake pads are generally fitted to the front brakes of most
cars. Brake pads are part of a disk brake assembly. Some cars do
have a disk brake system on the rear although this is generally
only high performance or powerful car. In most cases the rear
brakes will use a drum assembly.
Usually you will be required to remove the road wheel in order
to inspect the condition and wear of the brake pads. To do this
please first read out safety
page and then our information page about jacking
Safety is very important, failure to correctly jack a
vehicle can result in serious injury or death.
Once you have removed the wheel you will be able to see the
brake disk and the brake calliper. The disk is the round
component that turns with the road wheel, the calliper is the
part of the system that squeezes the pads to the disk on order
to slow the vehicle down.
You can usually look into the front of the calliper to see the
brake lining. If you have less than 3mm left then I would highly
recommend having your brake pads changed.
The above diagram shows a disk brake assembly. It points out the
important components. Note that the area in black is the lining
that will wear, the area in red is the back plate of the pad and
is constructed of metal. The lining and back plate make up a
The inspection area towards the front of the calliper is where
you can look in to see how much the linings on the pads have
worn. You should also check for uneven wear, if one pad is work
more than another then there may be a problem with the brake calliper.
How to check brake shoes
The brake shoes are constructed of a metal structure and the
friction area is coated with a lining just like the brake pads.
brake pads squeeze the disk, shoes push out against a drum.
On some vehicles there will be an inspection hole at the back of
the brake drum. This will allow you to look inside and view the
lining. The rear brakes wear down a lot slower than the front
because 75% of the cars braking will occur on the front axle.
Because of this 1mm of lining is acceptable for most cars. If
your vehicle does not have an inspection hole then you will need
to remove the brake drum in order to carry out an inspection.
You should not carry out this task if you are not sure what you
You can have a garage carry out the inspection for you. You
would be best to ask then to adjust the brakes at the same time.