How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads? – Is It Safe

Worn-out brake pads are a pretty common automobile problem. It could make driving unpleasant, and eventually, the brake pads would vanish completely. This will certainly make driving risky and cause many problems.

So, today we will discuss whether you could drive a car without brake pads and, if so, for how long. We will also share the effects of driving a car without brake pads. Also, as a car owner, safety issues could not be left out. Hence, let’s continue reading.

How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads

How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads?

How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads

To be honest, there is no time or distance limit for how long can you drive without brake pads. However, if the rest of your braking system is in good working order, you may be able to safely stop the automobile without brake pads. It also relies on the speed of the vehicle and the thickness of the worn-out brake pads.

However, never drive your car without brake pads except only in some dire situations. This could cause a huge accident and endanger your life. 

A worn-out or completely broken brake pad would fail to stop a car when needed. As a result,  without brake pads, a car would be considered a deadly weapon. It could endanger other lives as well as the drivers. So, worn-out or entirely failed brake pads should be addressed as soon as they are detected.

Read Also: Why Is Brake Pad Rubbing On Rotor? – How To Stop!

What Are the Consequences of Driving A Car Without Brake Pads?

Attempting to drive a car without brake pads is a risky and life-threatening action. Without brake pads, the car must be stopped by other means. It has the potential to take someone’s life. Aside from that, there are some negative effects on your vehicle.

Longer Response

If you continue to drive without brake pads, the car will not stop once you press the brake. It would surely take longer if you had one or two missing brake pads. 

Health of Rotor

Health of Rotor

Driving without brake pads will surely damage the rotor. If brake pads are not present, friction between the wheel rotor and brake pads won’t be created. The caliper will directly press on the brake rotor and damage it.

Force Stop

Force Stop

If three or all four brake pads on your car fall, you cannot stop the car without an external force. If you are extremely lucky, you might be able to hit a tree and stop the car without any major accidents. 

Also, if the road is brazen, you might be able to reduce the speed before crashing into a tree. However, it would surely damage your car.



The worst outcome of driving without brake pads is a major collision. You might run over some pedestrians or collide with other automobiles. You might end up in a hospital or could lose your life too.

Read Also: What Happens If My Brake Pad Falls Off? – The Consequences

What Are the Indicators of Worn Out Or Entirely Broken Brake Pads?

Brake pads help to stop a car by creating friction.  And whenever you step on the brake, the brake pads would make friction. Thus, it wears easily and needs to be checked carefully. A collapsed or nearly collapsed brake pad would show signs like:

Strange Noise

Strange Noise

A worn-out brake pad would make some strange noises. You might hear a squeaking or grinding sound when you step on the brake. If this type of noise comes from the brake, you need to replace the brake pads soon.

Read Also: What Causes Brake Pedal Pulsation ABS System? – Fix Now


If you think the car is vibrating after pressing the brake, this could indicate the brake pads have collapsed or are nearly collapsed. You should change the brake pads if this happens.

Stop Time

If your car takes longer to stop after pressing the brake, it indicates a worn-out brake pad. Check the brake pads on all the wheels and replace the faulty ones.

Warning light

Warning light

Some of the latest automobiles have an indicator light to monitor the brake’s health. If this light is present in your car and appears, you should check the brake pads. 

Read Also: Can Worn Brake Pads Cause ABS Light to Come On?(Find Now)

How Can I Replace Worn-Out Or Fallen Brake Pads?

The worn-out or dropped brake pads must be replaced. It’s not a challenging job. However, for the first time, you should seek professional assistance. The technique for replacement is as follows:

Step 1 – Remove the extra brake fluids and empty the pilot cylinder.

Step 2 – Detect the faulty brake pad and remove the wheel.

Step 3 – Take out the slider bolts.

Step 4 – Pull out the brake pads from the caliper. Be very careful not to break the connection of any hydraulic brake.

Step 5 – Now, attach the new retaining clip and new brake pads.

Step 6 – Push the pistons back into their place.

Step 7 – Check on the brake fluid levels to prevent overflowing.

Step 8 – Attach the caliper again and restore the slider bolts.

Read Also: What Causes Grinding Brakes Noise At Low Speed? – Fix Now

To help you with proper visualization, we have also shared a YouTube video:


Let’s take a look at some important topics related to how long you could drive a car without brake pads.

Can I drive my car with one brake pad missing?

You shouldn’t attempt this, no. Without brake pads, brake fluid would leak. Additionally, the piston could move too far when the brakes are used. By doing this, a passageway will be created for the braking fluid.

How Long Can I Go If My Car Shows a Warning for Brake Pads?

With an illuminating brake warning light, your car can go around 500 to 1,000 miles. However, you need to be very careful. It might be significantly less if you drive aggressively and frequently hit the brakes too hard.

What Is The Price Of New Brake Pads and Replacing the Old One?

Brake pad prices differ a lot depending on the quality and company. Usually, one brake pad could cost 35 USD to 200 USD. Additionally, you must pay the labor cost, which ranges from $100 to $150 if you employ a professional to help with the replacement.

Read Also: How Long Can You Drive Without Brake Pads? – Is It Safe

Final Words

Brake pads are one of the most crucial things that determine our safety on the road. However, they wear out pretty quickly if we drive recklessly or press the brake often. Thus, we need to check them often and adapt to healthy driving habits.

Also, even for fun or inconsideration, you should never try to experiment regarding how long can you drive without brake pads. Nevertheless, as time went on, they would need to be changed. We have highlighted this part too. So, you could change them easily.

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