A car’s brake pads are something many of us take for granted, but they happen to be one of the most important components of a given vehicle. While they may not be something you give much thought to, the brake pads are what stop your vehicle and keep you safe while driving. In the most basic sense, they are the friction material that is pressed against the disc that spin the wheels. Over time, they wear down and need to be replaced. We are often asked at what mile point or year must the brake pads be replaced, and unfortunately, there is no one uniform answer. When a car’s brake pads should be replaced will depend on a host of factors, including how often you drive, the types of roads you drive on, and the type of brake pads.
In order to ensure your brake pads remain in excellent working condition, it is imperative you understand their function and know the signs that may indicate they are close to needing to be replaced. As a local McKinney car shop, it is our goal to help you keep your car in top condition. We know how frustrating it can be to find yourself faced with tedious maintenance tasks, but taking a proactive approach to your vehicle will save you money and time in the long run. When it comes to caring for your brake pads, it is important to remember that proper maintenance isn’t only important for the longevity of your car, but for the safety of you and your passengers.
Warning Signs Your Brake Pads May Need to Be Replaced
Different vehicles will likely have various warning signs that the brake pads are on their last leg, but there are a handful of general warning signs to keep in mind:
● Pulsation or vibrations in the brake pedal
● Longer stopping time
● You notice your foot going further down than normal when pressing on the brake pedal
● You notice a high-pitched screeching sound when you apply your brakes
● Your vehicle pulls to one side when braking
● You hear a loud grinding or growling
These are just a handful of the most common signs your car’s brake pads may be worn out and need to be replaced. We encourage you to come into our McKinney car shop for any brake services and to ensure your car is in excellent working condition.
Tips for Checking Your Brake Pads
Now that you know what some of the warning signs of worn out brakes are, let’s look at how you can check the pads yourself:
● Listen to your brakes – If you notice any of the warning signs listed above, your brake pads may need to be replaced
● Check the wheels – Brake dust accumulation in the wheel of your car is completely normal. If you are worried your brake pads may be worn out, simply take a look at the wheel. If there is little-to-no dust and your wheels look clean, it could mean the pads need to be replaced
● Check out the brake pads – Depending on the vehicle, you may be able to see the brake pad through the wheel. If this is indeed the case with your car, look at the pad and determine its thickness. If it seems thin (less than ¼ inch), it probably needs to be replaced
● Test your brake pedal and steering wheel at the same time – Pay attention next time you are braking to how the steering wheel feels. If you notice a vibration when applying the brake pedal and your wheel is wobbling, it could be a sign of brake pad issues
We hope you now have a better understanding of why brake pads are important and what some of the signs are that they need to be replaced. Take a look at them for yourself, and if you think they are worn down, bring your vehicle into Nortex Lube & Tune and have them serviced by one of our experienced brake technicians.