Brake Failure? (Front vs Rear First To Fail, To Wear)

When it comes to your safety on the road, your brakes play the most important role. After driving for some time, the brake pads will wear out due to friction when you press the brake pedal. Each wheel on your car has brake pads; while you maintain your car, you might wonder which brakes will go out first.

So, what brakes go out first? The front brakes will go out first because they wear out faster than the rear pads. The front of the car has more weight, which causes the front brake pads to wear out faster. Most cars have the engine in the front, which puts a lot of weight on the front wheels. Every time you press the brake pedal, more weight is transferred to the front of the car, causing more friction on the front brake pads than on the back.

Brake pads ensure you can control your car’s speed or stop it anytime. When the brakes wear out, you need to replace them as soon as possible to avoid brake failure.

The brake system is one of the most important features in your car that enables you to stop your car or control its speed while driving. Your brakes must be in great condition to ensure you can stop or slow down your car whenever you step on the brake pedal. Changing the brake pads when they wear out is crucial, and you might wonder which brakes on your car usually go out first.

The front brakes will go out first because they usually wear out faster than the rear brakes. Cars have brake pads on all wheels, but they never wear out at the same time. The brake pads on the front wheels will wear out faster because of the extra weight exerted on the pads whenever you press the brake pedal.

When the brakes start to go out, you should replace them as soon as possible to ensure you do not get into an accident. You should also maintain your brakes to ensure the brakes do not go out before the next scheduled service. You should also change your driving habits to ensure your brakes do not wear out faster than normal.

Most cars have an engine in the front part which usually adds more weight to the front wheels than the weight on the rear wheels. That extra weight causes the front brake pads to wear out faster than the rear ones.

Even if your car weight is equally distributed, the front brake pads will still be the first to go out. When you press the brake pedal while driving, the car’s total weight will shift to the front of the car, adding more pressure to the front brake pads.

As you continue driving, the front brake pads will essentially work more than the rear ones. When the front brake pads wear out to the point they cannot stop the car, you will start to experience brake failure.

Maintenance of your car is very important in ensuring it runs properly. When your car has traveled a certain distance, you are required to take it to a mechanic for servicing or tune-up. One of the features that are checked is the brake system.

The mechanic will replace the old brake pads and check if the brake fluid is enough and if your car uses a hydraulic brake system. After changing the brake pads, you should keep checking the brakes to ensure they are in good condition. You should exercise good driving habits to avoid changing your brake before the next service date. You should avoid breaking too hard, break early and avoid overloading your car.

Brake failure during driving tips

If your brake goes out while driving, it can be difficult to stop the car, but a good driver should know what to do to ensure they are safe. When your brakes go out, the first thing you need to be calm and do not panic.

If you panic and your mind starts to race, you might make the situation worse by making a bad decision. Do not downshift too quickly, and do not turn off the car. If you turn off your car and it has power steering, you will lose control of the car. Avoid applying the emergency brake too quickly. If you do any of these, the car might start to skid, and you will lose control. 

To ensure your car comes to a complete stop without getting into an accident, take your foot off the acceleration pedal. Turn on the hazard lights to warn other drivers. If you are driving a manual car, downshift slowly to decrease momentum.

Start pumping the brake pedal to engage the other half of the brake to stop the car. If pumping the brakes does not work, slowly apply the emergency brakes. Use the divider or guard rails to slow down the car; however, you should know that this will cause considerable damage to your car.

Once the car starts to slow down, steer it to a safe place on the side of the road, and once the car comes to a complete stop, engage the parking brakes and turn it off. Call auto repair services, and do not attempt to drive the car again until the brakes are replaced.

Can rear brakes go before front?

When inspecting your car’s brakes, you might notice that the front brake pads are more worn out than the rear ones. It is normal for the front brakes to go out first because of weight and inertia. When performing maintenance on your vehicle’s brakes, you might wonder if the rear brakes can go before the front ones.

Rear brakes can go before the front ones if your vehicle has a stabilizing feature that makes the rear brakes absorb most of the energy when stopping the vehicle. Some modern cars have a new engineering feature that is meant to improve the car’s handling. The front brake pads are built more robust than the rear ones to ensure that they can absorb all the energy and weight put on the front wheels.

Under certain conditions, the rear brakes will go before the front one, which could point to a problem in the braking system if normally, the front brakes are the ones to go first. These conditions include driving habits, weak front brake pads, malfunctioning parts in the brake system, overloading, and incorrect brake calibration.

When you press the brake pedal to stop your car or slow it down, close to 60% of the car’s weight shifts to the front. This shift in weight puts extra pressure on the front brake pads, making them wear out faster.

Some car manufacturers fit more robust brake pads on the front wheels to stabilize the car. When you press the brake pedal, the front brake pads can handle the excess weight without wearing out faster.

If you have excellent driving skills, your front brakes might outlast your rear brakes. When you replace the brake pads, you must ensure that you have installed the correct ones on the front and rear wheels.

If your rear brakes have gone out before the front ones, you should replace your brakes as soon as possible. You can replace brakes separately on your car; you do not have to replace the entire set.

If the front brake pads are still intact and can function properly for a long time, you can replace the rear brake pads alone. However, if the front brake pads are also worn out, you should replace all the brake pads in your car.

When you buy brake pads, they usually come in packs of four. You can save money by only replacing the worn-out brake pads. However, you should inspect your front brakes if you have replaced only the rear brakes.

The rear brakes getting worn out quicker than the front brakes might be a sign there is a problem with the brake system. One of the problems that usually cause the rear brakes to go out first is sticking caliper sliders or pistons.

Another issue that might cause the rear brakes to wear out faster is emergency brakes getting stuck. If your car usually has front brakes that wear out faster, you need a professional to inspect its brakes when the rear brakes start to wear out faster.

You should also avoid replacing your car’s brake pads if you do not have the skills and knowledge to do so. The rear brakes might wear out faster due to poor or wrong calibration. A mechanic will replace your brakes and ensure all parts in the brake system are working efficiently.

Why would rear brakes wear before front?

Maintaining your car is very important in ensuring it functions properly for a long time. You must look after your brakes by regularly inspecting them and replacing them when worn out. During the inspection, you might notice your rear brakes are worn out before the front one, and you might wonder what the cause could be.

The rear brakes wear before the front brakes if the front brakes are made stronger than the rear brakes. When you press the brake pedal to stop or slow down the car, a lot of weight shifts to the front of the car, making the front brakes wear out faster. To stabilize the car, manufacturers are installing robust brake pads in the front and less robust ones on the rear wheels.

The front brakes can outlast the rear brakes because they are stronger. Other reasons your rear brakes will wear out faster than the front brakes include overloading, poor calibration, quality of brake pads, and driving habits.

The brakes on your car usually wear out at different rates. For most cars, the front brakes would wear out faster than the rear brakes due to weight and inertia. If your car’s brakes usually wear, beginning with the rear brakes, you have nothing to worry about.

You can replace the rear brakes with new ones and continue using your car. However, if your car’s brakes usually wear beginning with the front but now it starts with the rear, your brake system might be having issues. You should take your car to a professional mechanic to inspect, repair, and replace brake pads. 

Replacing your brakes regularly can become expensive; therefore, you need to maintain your brakes to avoid extra costs. You need to stick to a specific maintenance schedule. Check the owner’s manual or consult your mechanic on the best way to maintain your brakes.

After every 12,000 miles, inspect all the brake pads and check if the brake fluid is enough. Replace the brake pads if they are less than ⅛ inch on the pad lining. You should also replace the brake fluid after reaching 25,000 miles. You should replace the brake pads when you reach 60,000 miles or less, depending on their condition.   

You should also check and rectify your driving habits if your rear brakes keep wearing faster than the front brakes. If you carry loads every time you drive your car, ensure you maintain the maximum weight recommended. Do not overload your car, and also ensure the weight is equally distributed in your car.

You should also avoid braking too hard and too often. If you follow a car in front of you too closely, you will have to brake too hard each time the car slows down. Ensure you leave enough space in front of your car to enable you to brake smoothly and when necessary.

When replacing your brakes, you must select genuine brake pads that will last longer. If you install low-quality brake pads on your car, they will wear faster. Most cheap brake pads are low quality; hence, they cannot last long, especially if you drive your car daily.

It might seem the right choice to select cheap brake pads to save money, but it might not be a good choice in the long run. You will replace the cheap brake pads more often, and the costs to do so will exceed the costs of installing pricier ones.  Cheap brakes cannot last more than 20,000 miles, but premium brakes can even exceed 60,000 miles if you have good driving habits.


Brake failure is a serious issue that sometimes leads to accidents. When your brakes go out, it can be difficult to control your car’s speed; hence, the need to maintain your car’s brakes. The front brakes are usually the first to go out because of the extra weight in front of the car and inertia.

However, in certain instances, the rear brakes can go before the front brakes. It is not necessary to replace all brake pads in your car. You can replace the worn-out brakes, leave the ones in good condition and replace them when they become worn out. You should also improve your driving habits and maintain your car properly to ensure the brakes do not get worn after a short time.

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