Making sure your brake pads are in proper working condition, and replacing them when the time is right, won’t just save you money in the long run. It can also potentially save your vehicle or even your life in an accident. But how do you know when to replace your brake pads? What are brake pads? Let’s take a closer look at the how’s, what’s, and why’s of replacing brake pads on your vehicle.
What Are Brake Pads?
Brake pads are a crucial part of your vehicle’s brake system; they sit between your brake shoe (the part that clamps down, slowing the tires’ rotation) and your brake drum. Without functioning brake pads, other elements of your vehicle, such as the discs, rotors, and calipers, will begin to wear away. Maintaining effective brake pads is important to avoiding expensive repairs as well as unsafe driving conditions. That’s why it’s essential to know when to replace your vehicle’s old brake pads.
What Happens When Brake Pads Wear Down?
Whenever you engage your vehicle’s brakes, you are causing minute amounts of wear and tear on your brake pads. For each brake pads, ceramic, organic, and metallic, this friction causes small amounts of protective coating to wear away from the brake pad. Over time, this deterioration starts to add up: as your brake pads become thinner and thinner, they will eventually get to the point where they should be replaced.
You should consider replacing it with good quality brake pads, you can visit quality brake change in New Orleans shops if you are living in this area. Why do you have to use good quality brakes? When you are replacing your brake pads, choosing second rate components will make you waste your money because they do not last long.
Here are some signs to look for to know when to replace brake pads:
Squealing or Screeching Noises
Generally, the first indication any driver will notice is a squealing, screeching, or whining noise when the brakes are engaged. This sound is caused by a small, metallic shim indicator embedded in your brake pad for just this purpose when you hear it regularly while braking, it’s likely time to bring your car into a brake specialist for an inspection.
When brakes are exposed to wet, damp conditions, such as after a rainstorm, a thin layer of dust can form on the brake pads and cause a very similar screeching sound. If a sound disappears after the first few times, you use your brakes, that’s a good indicator that it was just a bit of rust built up on the brake pad and not the brake pad needs to be replaced.
Less than a Quarter Inch of Brake Pad
You can also visually inspect your brake pads to know if it’s time to have them replaced. Look through your tire spokes, and you should see your brake pad compressed against your brake rotor. Suppose the pad is less than ¼ inch thick(about 3 millimeters). You should consider having your brakes inspected, especially if it’s been a long time since your last inspection.
Deep Metallic Grinding and Growling
If you hear a deep, low noise that sounds like metal grinding or a rumbling growl, that can be a sign that your brake pads are worn away but that your brake discs and calipers are making contact. Since this metal on metal contact can very quickly cause even further damage in your braking system, you should bring your vehicle into a service shop as soon as possible if you hear this kind of noise.
Some vehicles have an indicator light on the dashboard that will signal when it’s time to replace the brake pads. Check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle comes equipped with the low-pad warning system. Remember that if the light does come on, you’ll need to have your mechanic replace the light sensors and brake pads.
How Long Do Brake Pads Last?
Brake pads are generally thought to be good from anywhere between 30,000-35,000 miles. However, the real answer to how long brake pads can last will vary from vehicle to vehicle and from driver to driver. For example, suppose you tend to drive the most often in urban areas or heavy commuter traffic. In that case, you’ll be engaging your brakes more frequently than someone who drives in rural locations or on highways. Some people also tend to “ride the brake,” meaning they press and depress their brakes more habitually than other drivers, causing the brake pads to wear away more quickly.
With a little attention and forethought, it can be easy to know when to replace brake pads on your vehicle.