The Top 5 Causes of Brake Pads Wearing Unevenly

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The Top 5 Causes of Brake Pads Wearing Unevenly

Here I’ll be talking about the issue of having to replace one brake pad while the other 3 are still in great shape!


It’s an extremely frustrating problem to have.


While this issue may seem ridiculous to you, the truth is that it happens because of many reasons. First, let’s break down exactly what a brake pad is!


The brake system on a vehicle consists of a complex system of hydraulics, mechanics, and friction. On occasion, a problem can occur and cause uneven brake wear when one set of brake pads wears out faster than the rest. This problem may occur for several possible reasons.


The Top 4 Reasons Are:


Disc Thickness Variation:  


Disc thickness variation is a mechanical term that refers to when the rotors of a vehicle have different levels of thickness. Whenever there is a variation in the thickness level of your rotors, it will cause the brake pads to get worn out faster. The discs will have more flat spots that the brake pads will come in contact with. Once they do, the wear of the brake pads will become uneven throughout the vehicle.


Caliper Failure:


Uneven brake pad wear most commonly occurs as a result of caliper failure. The caliper contains a piston that presses on the brake pads to stop the vehicle. When the driver releases the brake pedal, a seal inside the caliper pulls the piston away from the pad. Made from rubber, this seal can eventually lose the ability to pull back. This condition in turn causes the pads to put constant pressure against one of the brake rotors and cause that brake pad to wear significantly faster than the others.


Slide Pins:


The slide pins are the metal pins that allow the brake caliper to slide back and forth with the wheels. When these pins become corroded, the caliper can no longer slide. As a result, the caliper becomes stuck in one position; if it sticks in the right position, it can cause the pads to wear more quickly on that side. Typically, a wire brush and some grease will take care of the corrosion.




Sometimes when you have new brake pads installed in your vehicle, the mechanic might align them evenly. Anytime you have misaligned brake pads, it will cause them to wear unevenly throughout the course of your braking activities. You should notice this problem occurring within weeks or months after you new brake pads that misaligned. Once you start experiencing braking issues, you will wonder why your brake pads are acting up already when you just got them replaced. Well, it is due to the brake pads wearing unevenly because of their misalignment.


Sticky Caliper Pistons:


If you have a lot of debris or rust on one or more of your pistons, then it will cause the brake calipers to become sticky. This means that the pistons won’t slide correctly, causing the brake pads to make uneven contact with their spinning rotors throughout the vehicle.


If this is a problem you’re facing, it’s better to act sooner than later. The consequences are driving with worn-out brake pads are extremely

Written by Eric's Car Care