Brake pads are a component of disc brakes used in automotive and other applications. Brake pads are composed of steel backing plates with friction material bound to the surface that faces the disc brake rotor.
Brake pads are critical components of your vehicle’s braking system, and keeping them in good working order is critical for your safety and the safety of other drivers. Brake pads should be replaced every 40,000 to 50,000 miles on average. However, this can vary depending on driving conditions and driving patterns. The good news is that when your brake pads are nearing the end of their useful life, you’ll likely notice mild symptoms, making diagnosis and repair simple. Here are six telltale symptoms that your brake pads need to be replaced.
1. Squeaking or Squealing Coming From Brakes
The first sign that your brake pads are nearing the end of their useful life is squeaking or screaming noise emanating from the brakes. Excessively worn brake pads are the most common cause of squealing brake pads. When your pads are worn down enough, you’ll hear a grinding noise, and you’ll start to damage your rotors, increasing the expense of repair.
2. Grinding Sound When Braking
As previously indicated, if you hear a grinding noise when putting pressure on the brake pedal, your brake pads need to be replaced as soon as possible. Metal wear indicators are integrated into some brake pads and are meant to create a loud noise to inform you that it’s time to change the pads. If you let the brake pads grind any longer, you risk causing further damage and incurring more repair costs.
3. Vibration When Braking
Another symptom that your vehicle’s braking system needs professional assistance with is when the car vibrates when you press the brakes. Your rotors are likely deformed, which has resulted in uneven brake pad wear.
4. Taking Longer To Stop
Loss of performance when applying the brakes is another big symptom that your brakes need to be inspected. If you’re having trouble stopping when you press the brakes, it’s possible that your brake pads are entirely worn out or that your brake fluid is low (oftentimes due to a leak). You’ll want to see a brake mechanic as soon as possible to obtain a true understanding of what’s going on with your brakes so you don’t lose all braking ability.
5. Brake Pad Indicator Light Comes On
Brake warning lights are seen on the dashboard of most modern vehicles. The Antilock Braking System (ABS) light is one, while the braking system warning light is the other. It’s not always the case that your brake light illuminates when there’s a problem; it’s also the light that illuminates on your dashboard when your parking brake is engaged. However, if your parking brake isn’t engaged and you’re seeing a brake warning light, it’s time to have a brake professional analyze your problems.
6. Your Brake Pads Appear To Be Thin
Visually inspecting your brake pads for wear is an easy technique to check for wear. Locate your brake pad by looking between the spokes of your wheels. You’re probably in need of new brake pads if it appears to be less than a 14-inch thickness.
If you are experiencing any of the following, it is best to call a technician.
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