Minimum Brake Pad Thickness to Pass Inspection

Drivers often overlook brakes. However, the brake pedal should be inspected every year or when it feels soft and spongy. That is why you have to know about brake pad measurement to be safe. Once you learn how to do a brake inspection, you can change it when necessary. The minimum brake pad thickness to pass inspection, is at least 1/4 inch or 6.4 mm for proper brake functioning, so it’s important not to wait until they’re completely worn down before changing them. This post will teach you when to change brakes & all about inspection.

Brake Pad Thickness

Starting with some basics of brake pad


Brake pads production requires various components, including steel backing plates, shims, friction compounds, rubberized coatings, and thermal insulation coatings. Even though these are strong materials, they are not long-lasting.


Most vehicles now have disc brakes that allow the driver to slow down and stop their automobile. This system consists of a brake caliper with pistons and Brake Pads. When the car is driving, a spinning disc rotates along with the wheel.

The caliper exerts pressure on the brake pad, causing it to push on the braking disc. The friction formed between the  pad and the disc slows the wheel’s rotation. It occurs anytime the driver presses the brake pedal.


Knowing the accurate brake pad measurement is another crucial part. It helps you understand minimum thickness.

Break pad thickness

Friction material between 10 and 12 millimeters thick is the standard thickness for new premium brake pads. For better understanding, you can follow the thickness chart.

When to replace (minimum brake pad thickness to pass inspection)

Your brakes will need replacement at some point. Because the brake pads usually wear out after 50,000 miles as you use them every time you step on the brake pedal. However, you can increase the lifespan of your brakes if you ensure minimum brake pad thickness. If the thickness becomes 3.2 millimeters or ¼ inches, change it immediately with better one like ACDelco Brake Pad for avoiding any type of accidents.

1. Brake Pads Wear Out

Each time you use your car’s brakes, they lose material. They start to wear out, reducing the impact of contact. As a result, they require more range to stop the automobile quickly.

They ultimately wear out, causing various issues. If you discover that no brake pressure or your brakes are less sensitive than before and , it’s time for replacement.

Note: The brake pedal also feels different after a drive in traffic or over a mountain range.

2. Warning Sign In Your Car Dashboard

Some cars have sensors that notify the driver about broken brake pads via a dashboard indicator or a start screen signal. Brakes that are too weak screech or squeal to attract attention; this is safe.

A steel scraper linked to the pads triggers it. The brakes are not in good condition on one or all wheels if there is a grinding sound. In such circumstances, attempting to press the brake pedal could cause catastrophic rotor damage.

Note: Be aware of these situations, and change beforehand if possible.

3. Regular maintenance of Car

The lifespan of your car’s brake pads depends on how hard you brake and if you drive in high terrain or traffic. The replacement of pads should occur when their depth reaches their service limit of 0.1 inches.

The cost of replacement varies depending on the situation, so do your homework before you need it. You can add it to your car’s regular expenses.

4. Loud Squeaking or Squealing Sound

Squeaking or squealing noises from the brakes is another hint that your brake pads are nearing the end of their life. The most prevalent cause of screeching sounds is excessively worn brake parts.

When your pads wear too thin, you will hear a grinding noise and begin to damage your discs, increasing the cost of repair. Remember the saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.”

Note: The minimum thickness of brake pads is 6.4 mm to get better performance.

5. Vibration While Braking

Another critical indicator of worn-out brake pads is vibration during braking. In this scenario, you should inspect your brakes right away. Vibration while braking reduces the effectiveness of your braking, which may result in an accident.

Note: Worn brake pads are unable to meet the disks, resulting in vibration while braking correctly.

Further Concern

Your Brake Pads Seem To Be Thin

Manual inspection:

  • Checking your brake pads for wear manual is an easy technique to check for wear.
  • Locate it by looking between both the spokes of your tires.
  • You probably need new brake pads if it looks to be less than 6.4 mm thick.
  • But, to pass the inspection, you need to have a thickness of at least 3.2 mm.

Follow the Chart:

You can also see a thickness chart to have an idea of safe brake pad thickness. This method will only work for you if you know enough about the optimal thickness and how to inspect them.


1. What is the minimum car brake pad thickness?

The minimum thickness of new one is around 6.4 mm. While passing the inspection, you need to have at least 3.2mm thickness.

2. How many mm is safe on brake pads?

Brake pads are ideally thicker than 6.4 mm for best function and a tremendous stopping force.

brake pad thickness

3. How long will 4 mm of brake pads last?

It generally depends upon driving habits and driving terrain. MG3 brake pads last on average over 60,000 miles, so at 4 mm, they have 30,000 miles left.

4. Is 3mm bad for brake pads?

If the brake pads have worn down to around 3mm, you should change them. In contrast, you may potentially get away with 2 mm, though it is not always a good idea.


We hope that these steps can help you learn when to change brake pads and the minimum brake pad thickness to pass inspection. To extend the life of your vehicle’s braking system, try balancing your tires every six months. It will prevent your tires from wearing out prematurely in a single area.

You should not disregard worn brake pads and endanger your own and others’ lives for a few dollars. By monitoring these indicators of worn ones, you can take proactive action and save money over time.


Mr. Rubel is an Engine Mechanic. He has more than 15 years’ experience on repair and maintenance of different kinds of vehicles. He is also providing training to mechanics and works as a Senior Mechanic of a well-known organization. He is sharing his knowledge to support the car lovers to solve the vehicle issues.

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