How Do You Know When to Change Your Brake Pads?

Arguably, the brakes are the most important part of your vehicle. It’s great to go fast, and it’s great to accelerate fast, but what if you can’t stop or can’t stop quickly? I think most everyone will all agree, brakes are important. As with anything else in your car, proper upkeep and regular maintenance will keep the essential parts of your car running well. With a well-maintained car, you can have the security and confidence that your vehicle will get you to your destination and keep you as safe as possible.

So, what kind of maintenance needs to be done to your car’s brakes? Your brakes have large pads that wear down with time, and those pads need to be replaced. Most vehicles are recommended to have their brake pads replaced every 50,000 miles. Even knowing that, however, sometimes things aren’t that simple. Sometimes time gets away from us, and sometimes the pads break down sooner due to a variety of reasons. So, what are the signs that your car’s brake pads need replacing?

Squeaks and Squeals

The first thing that will happen when it’s getting to be time to have the brake pad’s replaced is that you will start to hear noise while braking. When you apply the brakes, you will hear high-pitched squeaks or squeals. Sometimes you will hear squealing in your brakes under certain conditions like rain. This does not necessarily mean it’s time to replace the brake pads. This is fairly normal. However, if the squeaking is happening every time you brake, raining or not, then you need to schedule an appointment to get them replaced.

Indicator Lights

Some vehicles have sensors on the brakes. These will alert you when it’s time to have your brake pads replaced. Keep an eye out of any indicator light that turns on on your car’s dashboard. Consult your manual for their meaning and contact your trusted service center to get the car checked over.

Grinding Metal

If the sounds that your brakes are making are less in the squealing category and more in the grinding metal on metal range, it’s really time to get the brake pads replaced. Some brake pads are made so that when they wear down enough, there are metal ridges exposed that grind against the other parts in the wheels to alert the driver to attend to them. Please don’t put it off anymore. The pads need to be replaced. Letting it go can cause more damage to the entire area and will cost much more to repair.

The Brake Pedal

When the brake pads are low enough, it becomes more difficult to press the brake pedal and come to a stop. It often feels like vibrations or a general unsteadiness when applying the brakes in this case. This is just another sign that the pads have worn down. Before you cause further damage or end up having an accident, take your vehicle to the mechanic to be serviced.

Appearance

You can always look at the brake pads to see what condition they are in. It might take some work to get down on your hands and knees to look in there, but it’s doable. If the brake pads have worn to less than a quarter-inch, it’s time to replace them.

Maintaining a car is much less expensive than repairing it. Keep your eyes and ears open for the signs and replace your brakes regularly. This will prevent costly brake repairs in the future. Practice good habits on other aspects of your vehicle too. Things like rotating tires will improve the wear on the brake pads. If you are in need of service for your vehicle, keep Auto Alternative Service & Sales in mind. Contact us today. Let’s arrange an appointment for an inspection or brake pad change.

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