Does The Brake Pad Wear Indicator Go On The Inside Or Outside

Disc brake pads are an essential component of every vehicle. These allow contact with the rotors, which causes friction and slows the vehicle down. You’ll need to change pads once they wear to a certain level. However, knowing when this is, is tricky to do visually, especially with the rear brakes.

Also, thinking that brake pads lasting the average brake pad life can be used as a guide can leave you in an unsafe situation. Brake wear isn’t predictable, so how long brake pads last varies based on driver and driving conditions. To solve this issue, manufacturers automatically used a brake wear indicator to check pad wear.

Even then, once your pads wear and you want to change them, how do you fit these into the vehicles brake system? Brake pads contain parts inside and outside the brake caliper pistons on both the right and left sides. So, where do you position the built-in wear indicator?


You’ll find left and right pads in each pair of left and right pads. It should be simple to figure out which item goes on the inside if you follow the instructions. (Learn How To Change Dremel Bit)

In our guide, you can learn more about your brake pad wear indicator placement, and what to do if you hear the common brake squeak that signals brake pads need changing.

By the end, you’ll know how long you can expect your pads to last, what the most obvious indicator is for changing them, and how to position the brake pad wear indicator, inside or outside?

Brake Pads. Know The Basics

Brake pads are vital to the vehicle’s performance. However, distinct brands of brake pads have different appearances, and some of them are even put in different places on a car.

L pads and R pads are two types of pads.

The different sides of a brake pad can be seen here. Although they are mostly interchangeable, it is helpful to understand what each designation implies.

L Pads

The L pads are installed on the car’s left side. The brake pads can be labeled right and left within each set. Because most brake pads appear the same, it doesn’t matter which side you choose if they aren’t marked with an L.

The left should be on the outside of the car if it is marked. If the pads you buy instruct you to do so, you can put them there.

R Pads

The R brake pads are installed on the car’s right side. There should be two L and R pads among these pads. These show which side you should place on each pad.

The R pad should be placed on the car’s interior if it is marked. Most brake pads are not marked. You can install the brake pads on either side.

Which Brake Pad Fits On The Inside?

Most brake pads will have a label showing which side you should use them on. A small L or an R could be used to represent this. Each one is labeled to indicate which side of the caliper you should use it on. (Read No Coolant In Radiator But Reservoir Tank Is Full – What To Do)

In most cases, any brake pad can be used on the inside. This occurs for the following reasons:

  • The majority of brake pads have the same size and shape.
  • On the surface of each brake pad is the same substance.
  • As a result, it doesn’t always matter which brake pad goes on the inside.
  • Wear indicators are required on some brake pads. This one will go on the inside if you buy brake pads with these features.
  • Brake pads with a wear indicator have a fixed location; however, the positioning of most brake pads is interchangeable.

Can You Mix Up Brake Pads?

It’s easy to mix up brake pads, so you might be concerned about what would happen if you did so during the installation process. After all, replacing several pieces of equipment might be devastating for the car if any of them are switched out.

The brake pads are mainly interchangeable, so it’s not a big deal. You can put them wherever you want without fear of messing up.

However, you could find some exceptions. For example, your brake pads are not interchangeable when:

  • It contains a wear indicator that indicates when the brake pad needs to be replaced. When the brake pad is worn down and needs to be replaced, this signal is given to the driver.
  • There is a side specification for the brand. When you buy pads, this is stated on the packing or box.
  • Before installing your brake pads, check to see if they have any of these items to see if you need extra precautions.
  • You don’t have to worry about mixing up your brake pads if they don’t have these specifications.
  • Brake pads are convenient because they can be swapped out. The most crucial thing is that they are both inside and out securely bonded. This approach enables them to carry out their duties while also slowing down your vehicle.

Do All Brake Pads Have Wear Indicators?

The most common type of service required for brakes is changing the pads. Disc brake pads usually have a piece of metal on them called a wear indicator.

When enough friction material is worn away, the wear indicator will contact the disc and make a squealing sound. This means it is time for new brake pads.

Go past this, and you have the pads backing plate scraping on your brake disc, and your brake pedal will have little effect.

miles gauge

How Many Miles Left On The Brakes After Brake Warning Light?

Many factors determine how long brake pads last after the warning light. However, a rough guide would be around 1000 miles where efficient braking is maintained.

Where Does Brake Pad With Wear Indicator Go?

It all hinges on the position of the caliper. For example, if the caliper bolts to the rear of the rotor, the brake pad indicator should be on the bottom inner surface.

The wear indicator should be on the top inner if the caliper bolts to the leading edge of the rotor. Besides this, you can find newer models with floating calipers.

In addition, the indicator should be on the inside pad. The reason is that the inside brake pads wear faster than the outer pad. (Read Combustion Air Switch Failed To Close)

Beside this, how do you fit a brake pad wear indicator?

To install:

  1. Install the pad support plates into the torque plate.
  2. Install pad wear indicators onto your pads.
  3. Install the anti-squeal shims on the outside of each pad and then install the pad assemblies into the torque plate.
  4. Compress the caliper piston inside the bore. Lubricate caliper pins if needed.
  5. Position the caliper bracket back down over the pads.

At the same time, rotor thickness needs to be measured as these can wear over time, although they take longer than your front brakes.

Signs of wear on the rotor surface and brakes are a continuous high-pitched squeal as you put your foot on the brake pedal.

New pads are needed sooner rather than later, as you could have metal on metal, which could weld themselves together, and all you have to stop you are your rear brakes.

If the inside pad wears too much and the brake pad squealer doesn’t work.

As you depress the brake pedal, there isn’t enough brake fluid in the master cylinder to get the brake pads to touch the rotor to slow your vehicle.


Related Brake Pad Questions

How to fit brake pads with wear indicator?

  1. Install pad wear indicators onto your pads.
  2. Ensure the arrow on the indicator plate points toward the direction of rotation.
  3. Install your anti-squeal shims on the outside of each pad
  4. Install pad assemblies into the torque plate.
  5. Compress the caliper piston into the bore.

What is the brake pad clip for?

The clips fit between the pad from the rotor . This can help keep the brakes cooler, reduce noise, and increase the pad’s life.

Are inside and outside brake pads different?

The pads’ backing plate has the same ears on the top that match the brake caliper pistons. The top of the outer pad features a chamfer. The pads feature the same ears or small metal tab contacts in the caliper bracket.

What happens if you fit brake pads backwards?

What do I do if new brake pads are fitted backwards with a metal backing plate towards the rotor? You’ll likely have to replace the rotor. Turn them around, and the friction material can wear much faster because of scoring.

Are front and back brake pads the same?

The simple answer is that you can change your new pads in pairs (front or rear) as needed, but you don’t have to do so unless both sets are worn out. When comparing the front and rear brake pads, you’ll notice a big difference as a rear pad wears slower. (Learn How To Dispose Of Acetone)

Are brake pads sold in sets?

Brake pads are sold as complete axle sets (front or rear) for your brake job. The rear pads can differ from the front pads, especially if your car has drum brakes rather than disc brakes.

Should brakes make noises while driving?

It is most common brake squeak is caused by inferior pads. In this case, the brake wear indicator could hit the rotor’s rear side and make a noise.

How do I know if my brake discs are worn?

There are two techniques to check for brake wear on disc brakes: looking and listening.

  1. First, examine your brake pads through the gaps between the wheel’s spokes for signs of wear.
  2. A metal rotor will be forced against the outside pad. Therefore, at least 1/4 inch of the pad should be present.

Does The Brake Pad Wear Indicator Go On The Inside Or Outside (1)