How Many Brake Pads Come In A Box? [Fully Answered]

When it comes to car parts, brake pads are one of the most important components. We all know it is important to have high-quality pads installed in our cars, but how many brake pads come in one box? Are they interchangeable between the front and rear wheels? This article will answer all your questions about brake pads and help you understand the importance of having good quality, properly installed brake pads. 

So, how many brake pads come in a box? A box contains a set of 4 brake pads, which is either for rear wheels or front wheels, depending on you for which pair of wheels (rear or front) you have ordered. Brake pads should always be replaced as a set across the axle (either front or rear). In a box of brake pads, you’ll get two inboard pads and two outboard pads. One of each makes up a pair for one wheel. You have to replace brake pads of both wheels i.e. right front and left front at the same time. So, in essence, you don’t have to change brake pads of all wheels (both front and both rear) at once. For example, if the brake pad of driver side front wheel is worn-out, you also have to replace the brake pad of passenger side front wheel. Due to this reason, brake pads come in a set of four.

Also Read: Groaning noise when braking at low speed

Table of Contents

Why Are Two Brake Pads Needed For One Wheel?

Two brake pads are needed for one wheel because when you press the brake pedal, the brake caliper squeezes the brake pads against the rotor to create friction and slow down the vehicle. The inboard and outboard brake pads work together to press against the rotor from both sides, creating an even amount of friction and slowing down the vehicle efficiently. 

The inboard brake pad is located on the inside of the brake rotor, closest to the vehicle’s center. The outboard brake pad is located on the outside of the rotor, farthest from the center of the vehicle. The combination of the inboard and outboard brake pads pressing against the rotor ensures that the rotor is slowed down evenly and efficiently.

brake pads arrangement on one wheel

It’s important to note that brake pads wear down over time due to the friction they create when pressing against the rotor. This is why it’s necessary to replace brake pads periodically to ensure that the vehicle can brake effectively. If one brake pad wears down faster than the other, it can cause uneven braking and potentially damage the brake rotor. That’s why 4 brake pads (two for each vehicle) must be replaced at the same time.

Are Brake Pads Sold In 2 Or 4?

Brake pads are usually sold in sets of 4 pads, enough for either the front or rear wheels of your vehicle. If you need to replace the brakes on all four wheels, you’ll need to purchase two sets of brake pads, each containing four pads. So, in total, a car has 8 brake pads (2 per wheel).

When replacing your brake pads, it is important to make sure that you are replacing both left and right sides of the brake pads at the same time. If you only replace one side, this can cause your brakes to be unbalanced, which can lead to increased wear, decreased braking performance, and even brake failure. 

Furthermore, when purchasing brake pads, it’s important to make sure that you’re buying the correct type and size of brake pads for your vehicle. Each vehicle requires specific brake pads that are designed to fit its make and model. Using the wrong type of brake pads can result in poor braking performance and potentially cause damage to your vehicle’s braking system.

Is There Any Difference Between the Brake Pads of the Front and Rear Wheels?

Front brake pads are usually larger and thicker than the rear ones. Front and rear brake pads are different in terms of their wear, as well as the amount of friction generated. The front brakes are responsible for the majority of the stopping power and when you press the brakes, the weight of the car shifts forward in order to help decelerate. The front brake pads take the brunt of the braking load and hence, go through more wear and tear

The front and rear brake pads are designed to fit in brake calipers. Front brake pads can only fit in front brake caliper.

Some vehicles have drum brakes in rear wheels instead of disc brakes. So, they will have brake shoes instead of brake pads. You’ll visually see a significant difference between brake pads and brake shoes.

Do You Need to Replace All Your Brake Pads at Once?

You don’t need to replace the front and rear brake pads at once. Front brake pads tend to wear faster as they are responsible for the majority of the stopping power. So, usually, front brake pads are replaced more often as compared to rear brake pads. 

Rear brake pads have less stopping power because they are responsible for the stability of a vehicle. If the rear wheels also lock up, a vehicle might spin out and ABS might be activating all the time.

Due to this reason, rear brakes have:

  • Smaller and thinner brake pads
  • Thinner and solid brake discs while front brakes have a thicker rotor with holes for heat dissipation
  • Lesser hydraulic pressure of brake fluid

The allowable thickness for the front and rear brake pads is usually mentioned in the owner’s manual. For instance, the allowable thickness for the brake pads of the Honda Civic is around 2 to 3 mm. 

So, even if only one brake pad of one wheel is worn-out, you have to replace all 4 brake pads on the front wheels so that the force of braking is evenly applied across the brake disc.

There are a few signs that can indicate that you need to replace your brake pads, including:

  • Squealing or grinding noises when you brake
  • Vibrations when you apply the brakes
  • A soft or spongy feeling when you press the brake pedal

What Occurs If I Don’t Replace My Brake Pads in Sets?

When it comes to brakes, you should always replace the pads in sets. Not doing so could have catastrophic consequences on your vehicle. Brake pads are designed to work in pairs. Replacing just one of them puts an unequal amount of stress on the brakes, and that can lead to an uneven braking experience. 

If you don’t replace the brake pads in sets, you will end up with an uneven braking force. This means that one side of your car will brake harder than the other, which can cause the vehicle to pull to one side when you apply the brakes. This makes it difficult to control the vehicle, and can even be dangerous in certain situations. 

In addition to the safety risks, not replacing your brake pads in sets can also lead to increased costs. Uneven wear on the brake pads can cause uneven wear on the brake rotor. Uneven wear on rotors can also cause a vibration when you apply the brakes, which is a sure sign that your brake pads need to be replaced.

Finally, not replacing your brake pads in sets can cause overheating and premature failure. When the brakes are applied, the brake pads and rotors are subjected to extreme heat. Unequal braking forces can cause one side to become hotter than the other, which can cause the brake pads to break down and wear faster. 

Does the Brake Rotor Need To Be Replaced With Brake Pads?

If you are timely in replacing your brake pads, they won’t be able to score or warp the rotor. This means you can keep your brake rotors longer. But if you are a bit late in replacing them, then you will have to replace the rotor as well as the brake pads. 

So, in most cases, it is recommended that brake pads be replaced every 40,000 to 50,000 miles.

It’s important to note that even if you replace your brake pads before they wear down too much, your rotor may still need to be resurfaced. Resurfacing involves removing a thin layer of metal from the surface of the rotor to make it smooth and flat again.

Resurfacing of brake rotors is a cheaper option than replacing the rotors, but it can only be done if the rotors aren’t too badly worn. If you have a minor variation in the rotor surface, you may be able to have them machined to a smooth finish and extend the life of the rotors.

Steps To Do After Installing Before Pads

If you’ve just installed new brake pads, there are a few steps you should take before you’re ready to hit the road. First and foremost, you should thoroughly clean the brake carrier. This is the area where the pads are located. Any dirt or debris left behind can reduce the efficiency of the pads. 

The second step is to make sure that the brake pads are properly seated. This will help to ensure that the brake pads are in contact with the brake carrier and that they are receiving the necessary pressure to perform optimally. Make sure that the brake pads are not rubbing against any surfaces, as this can cause damage to the brake pads. 

The next step is to make sure that the brake pads are not in contact with any oily substances. Oil can damage the pads and reduce their lifespan. 

Finally, you need to bed in the brake pads. This is a process where you apply the brakes a few times to allow the pads to adjust to their new environment. Be sure to do this slowly and avoid any sudden stops during the process. This will ensure that the brake pads reach their maximum performance levels. Furthermore, avoid unnecessary heavy braking on the first 200 kilometers.