Updated: Mar 26
When & how do I know my brake pads need to be replaced?
Well, the answer depends a lot on how well you've maintained your vehicle, your driving habits, quality of parts etc. Are you a city driver? Or are you more highway? 'Stop & Go' traffic tends to put more wear & tear on your brakes than highway driving. Do you only purchase cheap parts? 'You pay for what you get'...cheaper quality brake pads will definitely affect performance and longevity.
How do you know what to look for in brake pads?
A visual inspection goes a long way. If you are able to visually see the thickness of the brake pad material while looking through the rim on your vehicle, this will give a good indication how much life is left. A 'thick' pad area indicates the brake pad is new or not driven enough to cause much wear. If the pad material is very 'thin', this indicates the life of the brake pad is coming to an end and you should consider replacement. Brake pads replacement is a fairly straight forward process which many decide to tackle themselves. If you do find yourself in need of assistance, our technicians at Lonestar Mobile Brake Repair are on stand by to assist you with installation.
You can also audibaly hear when it's time to change pads. The most common audible symptoms you'll hear are a high pitched 'squealing' sound and/or a lower pitched 'metal on metal' grinding sound.
The classic 'brake squeal' is often associated with worn out pads. The squealing sound is the brake indicator starting to rub against the face of the rotor; it's indicating brake pad life has approached the replacement limit. The type of brake pads installed on the vehicle can also play a factor in why you may be hearing a high pitched squeal. Cheaply made brake pads are often associated with brake pad noise or 'squealing'. A better quality brake pad is often the remedy to this problem. Other reasons you may hear a squealing noise may be in part because of contamination (such as a grease seal leak or brake fluid leak).
If you are hearing a 'grinding noise', this often indicates the brake pads have been worn past their limit and the metal backing has begun to contact the surface of the rotor. If you are hearing this sound, we recommend NOT driving your vehicle until this problem is corrected. It is not safe to drive your vehicle this way. If you are hearing this sound, we recommend having one of our certified technicians come out to inspect your vehicle to ensure what repairs are needed.