3mm Brake Pads – What Should You Know?

If you detect 3mm brake pads when operating your vehicle, it’s time to change them with new ones. When the car wheels rotate, the rotating disc will also rotate.

The caliper’s role is to apply pressure to the brake pads, bringing them into pushing and contact against the brake disc.

This creates friction slowing the wheel until it finally comes to a stop.

Various materials such as rubber and steel are for brake pads. Although they are durable and sturdy,  they are not permanent.

Thus, the right pad thickness will help you prolong the life of your brake pads. This article will give a detailed explanation.

What Should You Know About 3mm Brake Pads?

3mm Brake Pads

3mm is the minimum thickness allowed for a brake pad. Thus, 3mm brake pads indicate that you should replace them soon.

Still, you can drive with 3mm brake pads if you know some tips.

How Long Will 3mm Brake Pads Last?

How long does 3mm brake pads last? The 3mm brake pad life depends on quality, brake pad material type, and how you use your brakes.

After all, 3mm is just over one-tenth inch, so you can’t expect them to endure a long time.

A careful, soft-footed driver can take months. Meanwhile, a careless person can drive a high-performance vehicle for a week.

How To Maintain a Brake Pad at 3 mm?

Driving Style

The suitable brake pads are one thing, but your driving style also contributes to rapid brake pad wear.

You have to control how you drive to keep the thickness of 3mm on brake pads for longer in case you don’t have time to replace them yet.

For instance, high-speed driving and sudden stops are recipes for wear and tear on the brake pad.

You also notice the pad wear down more quickly and if your car usually carries a heavy load.

This adds to the overall pressure and weight on the brakes, causing them to wear out faster.

You should ensure to flush and replace the brake fluid leak with new ones about every 40,000 km.

The reason is that the brake fluid can be contaminated, affecting its optimal functioning. This can move to other brake components, such as the brake pads.

Change Brake Linings

When your brake lining has excessively worn down, you will see the squeaking brakes, annoying squeal, or chatter. So, you need to replace it once you notice they have worn out.

This damaged part can take a toll on your automobile until the rivets get exposed. These eat up drum brakes and brake rotors and lead to expensive replacements and repairs.

Besides, it will be necessary to change the brake lines as a unit.

You must also check out various available types whenever you want to get brand-new ones. Choose the right lining with a lifetime warranty and benefit from it.

This may reduce the frequency of brake pads changes.

Flush The Brake Lines 

Flush The Brake Lines

Flushing your brake lines is the most necessary thing you must do to ensure your 3 mm brake pads can last longer.

You should flush the brake pads to restrict the air bubbles in the brake fluid.

These air bubbles often impair the whole braking system’s effectiveness and the brake fluid’s lubricity.

This can cause mechanical brake wear, so it is best to flush the brake fluid once every two years.

Don’t Engage the Brake When Moving Downhill

You should moderate your car’s speed without braking if driving downhill.

In this situation, it is significant to shift into lower gear. Lowering the gear to slow down the vehicle will minimize the wear of the brake pads.

Gears may be great speed limiters, especially if you drive your car with automatic and manual transmissions. You can stick up to 3rd gear when moving downhill with a manual car.

Yet, when you drive an automatic vehicle, you should take advantage of the gear usage to control your speed. This is when the gearbox has its 1st or 2nd-speed option.

Automatic transmission automobiles will automatically switch to lower gears when the driver wants to take a downshift.

Keep An Adequate Distance With Vehicles Ahead

Keep An Adequate Distance With Vehicles Ahead

It leads to a sudden stop when you drive your car too close to the luxury vehicle in front of you, especially when driving fast, which wreaks havoc on brake pads.

Driving at high speed may also hit the brake pedal quickly.

Thus, keeping a good distance from the car ahead is important to minimize accident risk and increase the lifespan of your 3mm thin brake pads.

Once you maintain a sufficient distance from the vehicle in front, there is no need to apply the brakes abruptly, and the brake pads are not prone to wear out quickly.

Check for Wrapped Calipers and Rotors

When other braking system components like rotors or brake calipers fail, the brake pads also wear out faster.

If the brake pads appear to be wearing out quickly, bring your vehicle to an auto shop to thoroughly inspect the complete brake system failure.

It may be necessary to invest in a new one for a component that malfunctions.

Don’t Overload

A heavy vehicle needs a lot of power to stop.

It’s better to ensure your car is not overloaded if you want to avoid damaging your brake pads at 3mm and expect your braking system to last longer.

Thus, remove all unneeded items in the vehicle. If you are towing a trailer, disconnect it when not in use.

What Is The Ideal Thickness of a Brake Pad? How To Check Its Thickness?

An ideal brake pad may have a thickness of more than 6.4 mm (or ¼ inch) to function properly. If it is thinner than this threshold, you’d better replace it as soon as possible.

Also, most auto mechanics recommend that the absolute minimum thickness for brake pads is 3.2 mm (1/8 inch). Thus, brake pads 3mm thickness can still be acceptable.

Below are detailed steps to check the brake pad’s thickness: 

1. Remove the wheel to check the disc connection, the brake pad and its thickness simply. You should take out and clean the brake pads for a complete inspection.

2. Lift the front of your vehicle with a jack stand to inspect the front brakes.

3. Remove and lock the front wheel. Raise the rear wheel before applying jack stands to check the rear brakes.

4. You can see clearly the pad thickness via the front of the caliper when removing the wheel.

5. Reinstall the car’s wheels. Lower it to the ground when done.


How Much Does Brake Pads Replacement Cost?

The brake replacement costs $150 by changing the brake pads on each axle.

Yet, these prices may reach up to $300 per axle depending on the brake pad’s different quality and material. Labor cost in different regions also varies.

How Do Your Brake Pads Work?

Brake pads play an important role in the braking system, which comes with a hydraulic caliper-actuated piston.

The brake piston presses the brake pads mounted in pairs against the brake disc, converting kinetic energy into heat energy through friction.

This is why the brakes often get hot during operation.

The pads are specified to fit in the optimum temperature range. So ones designed for 1.0 hatchbacks are different from those designed for supercars.

What Are Other Symptoms of Worn Brake Pads?

You must keep an eye and replace your brake pads if your brakes manifest the below signs: 

First, the brakes create a loud squealing noise; they may be worn out.

Second, poor performance appears when stopping on hills; you may have worn-out front brake pads 3mm, especially if the outside temperature is wet or cold.

The brake pad is designed to press against the rotor to bring the car to a quick stop.

If it makes any noise or starts to rust on the surface, they can have a 3mm brake pad left, and it needs to be replaced.

Besides, worn brake pads often seriously ruin your braking system and wheels over time.

Braking distance problems are another sign you should consider, including rear brake pads failure. This is especially true if there’s visible rust on the surface of the brake.

If your brakes are ineffective on soft or hard stops, they can be worn out and must be replaced thoroughly.

How Often Should You Rotate Your Brake Pads?

The brake pads should be rotated every 3,000 miles or every 3 months. This will ensure that the brakes work properly and last longer.


We’ve covered everything you should know about 3mm brake pads.

Brake pads play an indispensable part in the braking system, but their life also depends on your automotive maintenance schedule and driving habits.

Driving in hot weather shortens your brake pads’ life, but braking in frosty weather greatly increases their life.

If you need to replace the faulty brake soon, you should purchase pads from a prestigious manufacturer with a longer warranty.

Most automobiles follow the same fundamental process regardless of model, make, and year, so always refer to your producer’s manual for a detailed guide on replacing your brakes.

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