Last updated: September 30, 2020
When do Brake Pads Need to be Replaced?
By Herbert Dorman
When Do I Need New Brake Pads?
What are the most crucial features of a car?
Obviously, brake pads will take their position in the list of top 3 crucial features. Brake pads create friction to stop a car when they surge against the brake disc.
Over time, brake pads wear out. So, they need a replacement. I believe a few questions started popping up in your mind.
What are brake pads? When do Brake Pads Need to be Replaced? How will I know about the right time to replace the brake pads?
This article will give all the answers to the above “Wh” questions.
So, let’s dive in.
What are Brake Pads?
In a vehicle’s braking system, brake pads are the most fundamental part. They are positioned in a vehicle between the brake shoe and brake drum. Other components of your car, such as discs, calipers, and rotors, will start to wear off without operating the brake pads. Periodic inspection and maintenance are significantly essential for brake pads if you want to avoid expensive repairs in the future. Also, you can keep yourself safe from unsecured driving conditions.
This is the reason it is vital to learn the replacement time of brake pads.
Reasons behind Short Lifespan of Brake Pads
In fact, all vehicle’s brake pads and rotors wear out within time. There are some specific reasons behind vehicle brake pads worn out.
How tough a driver presses the vehicle brakes significantly affects the brake pad’s lifespan. Some drivers drive vehicles harshly and brakes roughly. On the other hand, some drivers gently press the brake pedal to stop the car. Gentle and smooth brake ensure the long lifespan of your vehicle’s brake pads. But you may need to break abruptly during an emergency.
Driving in the city is quite tricky because you will need to brake frequently because of the traffic lights. While driving in the countryside is much easier due to the long straight roads and no traffic lights. You can run many miles without taking brakes. Driving in hilly areas with steep altitude changes can also wear fast brakes because braking is often required to control the downhill speed.
The hardness of the Brake Pads
You will find different brake pads compound according to the needs of different drives.
The lifespan of hard compound brake pads is high. But before using, they need to remain warm, and they are commonly used in cars.
On the other side of the coin, soft compound brake pads will not give you long term service. They are most suitable in urban areas and designed for low speed. However, brake pads compound can be melted on the brake rotor because of oppressive heat. As a result, brake efficiency gets reduced, and driving becomes extreme.
When do Brake Pads Need to be Replaced?
The thumb rule is; brake pads show excellent performance anywhere between 30,000 – 35,000 mileage. They require replacement after every 50,000 miles.
Below are 5 signs that will indicate that your vehicle brake pads require replacement.
1. Creates Squeaking Noise
Creating endless squeaking – this is the first sign that brake pads show when it needs replacement.
Although the squeaky sound is normal during a rainy day, you will hear this from brake pads. However, if you hear this squeaky sound during every weather condition, be sure that it is time to replace the brake pads.
Rush to a specialist without making late, if your vehicle brake pads continuously create squeaky sound.
2. Turned on Indicator Light
This is another indication that tells it is time to replace your vehicle’s brake pads. There are few car models available where brake pads contain a sensor.
When brake pads start wearing off, the sensor begins triggering, and the brake lights get turned on.
If it happens to your vehicle too, call a professional and ask them how fast they can replace your vehicle’s brakes pads.
3. Deep Grinding Metal Sound
Sometimes, your vehicle will start creating deep grinding metal sound. This is an indication of changing the brake pads.
Some brake pads come with small metal shanks at the bottom of the pads. These shanks create loud noise so that the driver can get alert that brake pads need to be replaced. If you experience any metallic sound, make a schedule with a specialist and get the replacement done without making it late.
If you don’t bother taking precautions to the deep grinding metal sound, it can cause much more damage than just the brake pads requiring more extensive repairs and replacement.
4. Vibration in the Brake Pedal
Another sign of replacing brake pads is when the brake pads show vibrating character. While pressing your current brake pedal, check whether it vibrates or not. Or do you feel any unsteady feeling or not? If the brake pedal shows vibrating or shaky characteristics, be noted your vehicle brake pads are worn out.
Vibrating or unsteady brake pedals is not an ordinary matter. So, to avoid further damage, your car needs to be checked by an automobile professional.
5. Reduction of the Brake Pads Thickness
Merely looking at the brake pads, you can easily understand whether it is time to replace it or not.
Do you know where brake pads are located in your vehicle? Look between the spokes of your vehicle wheels; you will find the brake pads on the tire rotor. Check the thickness of the brake pad. If it is less than ¼”, that is a sign that brake pads need to be replaced.
Whenever you find any sign mentioned above, don’t make it late. Because it is all about your safety. If your vehicle brake pads show poor performance, they need to be replaced immediately.
Also, if you experience any unwanted sound or sparks, inspect your car through a mechanic. Keep a close eye on the health of your brake pads.