- Brake pads are truly the unsung hero of almost any vehicle. But how are we maintaining this vital auto part?
- Brake pads tend to Last around 50,000 miles but every vehicle is different and unfortunately, there are just too many variables to slap a generic 50,000-mile limit on brakes.
- Before you panic and head straight to the OEM Parts catalog, check out These 5 signs it may be time to replace your brake pads.
1: Deep Grinding Metal Sound
The grinding metal sound can occur when brake pads are completely worn out. This irritating sound is actually a result of metal on metal, mashing against each other in an attempt to stop the car. As intimidating and annoying as it may sound, the deep grinding metal sound is not always an indicator that you may need to replace your Brake pads. This sound can actually be caused by a multitude of different reasons, including loose wheel bearings, a bent brake splash shield, and even loose debris that may have gotten stuck in your brakes. While all of these issues may point to less severe problems with your car it is still important to ask a mechanic to properly diagnose the issue to be absolutely sure it’s time to replace your brake pads. If this issue goes unchecked your rotors will become scratched or even worse; the metals can melt together completely, causing your brakes to stick.
2. Vibrating Brake Pedal
If you press your brakes and the pedal begins to vibrate as your car comes to a screeching halt, it may be time for a new set of Brake Pads. When a brake pedal vibrates it can mean your pads are completely worn out and you may have needed a new set of pads for a while now. The next sign you may need new brake pads is actually a good way to diagnose your brake pads before you experience a vibrating brake pedal.
3. Brake Pads Appear to Be less than a ¼ inch Thick (Pictures)
You can determine the status of your brake pads by simply checking between the spokes of your wheels. Locate the brake pad on the rotor of the tire. If it appears to be less than ¼ Inch thick, there’s a good chance you’ll need to have your brake pads replaced.
4. Taking longer to stop
This can be one of the scariest indications that you may need new brake pads. Similar to the situation described at the beginning of the article, unresponsive brake pads can lead to jarring situations. Unresponsive brake pads put you and your passengers in extreme danger. Not to mention any other vehicle that may be sharing the road with you. If you feel your brake pads are taking longer than normal to stop, please seek a mechanic immediately.
5. Warning Light is On
Unfortunately, this sign only applies to cars with sensors on their brake pads. Brake pad sensors were developed to replace the unpleasant squeal that would normally occur when a driver’s pads had been worn down. Brake pad sensors use an electrical current to illuminate a light on the driver’s dashboard when it’s time to replace their brake pads. If you’re lucky enough to have a break pad sensor, be sure to keep an eye on your dashboard to determine if your pads may need service.
What to do when Brake Pads Wear down?
Long story short- Get to a Mechanic! Putting the safety of yourself and others in jeopardy is never worth it. Fortunately, there’s good news If you’re not exactly keen on heading straight to the mechanic and shelling out hard-earned dollars. Fixing brake pads yourself can actually be a fairly easy and cost-effective alternative to seeking the help of a mechanic.
What you’ll need to replace your brake pads yourself:
- Car Jack
- Ratchet and Socket kit
- Torque Wrench
- Brake Pad spreader or C-clamp
- Allen Set
- Lug Nut Wrench
- Gloves (optional but recommended)
- The right OEM brake Pads