How Do I Know When I Need to Replace My Brakes?

August 28, 2019 11:06 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It’s critical that you only ever drive on brakes that are in good condition. After all, without reliable brakes, your car quickly becomes a massive safety hazard. But how do you know when you need to replace your brake pads, and what exactly do brake pads do?

Brake pads are the portion of your brake system that sit in between the brake shoe (the part you push down to slow the tires) and the brake drum. A lack of functioning brake pads could result in some damage to other parts of your vehicle, such as discs, rotors and calipers. As such, it’s important to replace worn-out brake pads, as repairs to those other parts of your vehicle are likely to be significantly more expensive.

Here are just a few signs that could indicate it’s time for you to look into brake pad replacement in Athens County, OH:

  • Squealing or screeching: This is typically the first noticeable sign of a worn-out brake pad. If you notice a high-pitched squealing noise when you apply the brakes, this means the brake pad has worn down to the point where the metallic shim indicator inside the pad is showing. This means it’s time for you to bring in your vehicle for a brake inspection. There are some circumstances in which brakes that have been sitting out in a rainstorm could temporarily cause some screeching, but that should go away quickly.
  • You’ve got less than a quarter inch of pad left: If you perform a visual inspection of your brake pads and notice you’ve got less than a quarter inch of pad left, then it’s time to replace them.
  • Indicator lights show up on your dashboard: There are some cars that have indicator lights built in that signal when you need to replace your brake pads. Your owner’s manual will give you some information about whether or not your vehicle comes with a low pad warning. If the light comes on and you have your brake pads replaced, you’ll also need to have the mechanic reset the light sensors so it doesn’t continue to show that your brake pad level is low.
  • Grinding or growling noises: If the noises coming from your brakes are more of a deep, low growling or grinding noise, then this is a sign that you’re dealing with grinding of the brake discs and calipers, meaning the brake pads have already fully worn away. If you notice this sound, you need to get your vehicle to a service shop immediately so you can address the issue and avoid causing further damage to your braking system that could result in massive repair bills.

Your brake pads will generally last 30,000 to 35,000 miles, but they could last longer if you drive mostly in rural locations or on highways. On the other hand, they could last less time if you primarily drive in urban areas with a lot of stop-and-go traffic. For more information about brake pad replacement in Athens County, OH, we encourage you to contact the team at Dana’s Tire Center today.

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