One of the most important components of your car is its braking system. It’s imperative that you regularly check how well your brakes are performing. Braking system components include brake pads, rotors, calipers, and lines. Brake pads are among the most vital elements of the braking system and are considered normal wear items since they create friction that helps stop your car. As a rule of thumb, brake pads should be replaced about every 50,000 miles.
Brakes are a crucial safety feature that ensures you and others remain safe on the road. Driving around with bad brakes puts you and other drivers at risk of severe accidents or injury. The brakes permit your vehicle to slow down and come to a complete stop to avoid an accident. Beyond the safety risk, faulty brakes can affect other vehicle elements, including the tires and suspension system.
Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Brake Pads
Squeaking or Squealing Noises: If you hear persistent squeaking or squealing when you apply the brakes, it is time to change your brake pads. When the brake pads are worn to the point of needing replacement, a thin metal strip in the pads will make a screeching noise or squeal when you apply the brakes.
Indicator Light Turns On: In some models of cars, there is a sensor on the brake that will trigger when the brake pads become worn down. When brake pads are worn, the sensor sends an electric signal to your dashboard which causes your brake light to turn on. When this brake light illuminates, it’s an indication that it’s time to visit a brake shop to have a professional look at your brake pads and recommend how soon to replace them and the correct type for your vehicle.
Deep Grinding Metal Sound: Some brake pads are constructed with small metal ridges on the bottom of the pads to make a loud noise and alert the driver that it’s time to get new brake pads. If you hear this deep grinding sound, the metal ridges are grinding on other metal areas of your tire. This could create much more damage, causing you to need more extensive repairs and replacements than just brake pads.
Vibrating Brake Pedal: If the car shakes or the steering wheel vibrates when you apply pressure to the brake pedal and stops when you let off, it’s time to have your brakes serviced. A vibrating brake pedal is not normal, and to avoid any further damage to your car or a potential accident, it is vital to have your vehicle checked by a professional auto mechanic right away.