Will you be able to tell when your brake pads need to be replaced? Yes. Aside from your vehicle’s owner’s manual, there are a handful of warning signs that clue in drivers to brake pad problems. Let’s talk about your brake pads in this blog post so you can identify the warning signs as early as possible. Once you suspect there’s trouble, Trojan Auto Care can help.
Brake Pad Basics
Brake pads work with the brake rotors to generate friction that converts into kinetic energy. This kinetic energy stops your automobile. Think about when you were a kid and you used your feet to stop your bicycle; the same thing happens with your vehicle. Brake pads are made using a steel backing that is covered in the pad material. Over time, this material wears down because of the constant friction between the brake pads and the rotors. The pads will alert you when they are wearing down.
Brake Pad Warning Signs
Brake pad manufacturers often build warning systems into the brake pads during production. For example, a sound warning built into the pads will make the brakes squeal when you are driving. Once you apply the brakes, the squealing will stop. This noise means the brake pads are worn down to their minimum effectiveness and it’s time to have them changed. Computer chips are also inserted into brake pads that will illuminate the brake light once the pads are worn down and need to be replaced.
The third warning isn’t built into the pad by manufacturers. Rather, it’s a sure sign that your brake pads are completely worn down and you need to have them replaced right away. You probably already know what this sign is: grinding, fingernails-going-down-a-chalkboard, oh-my-gosh-make-it-stop sounds when you step on the brakes. This sound means your brake pad backings, i.e. steel, are grinding against the metal rotors, and this is a quick and easy way to seriously damage the rotors.
Don’t Forget Your Owner’s Manual
Finally, you noticed we mentioned the owner’s manual in the introduction to this blog post. Check your owner’s manual to see how often you should have your brakes inspected. Your vehicle’s manufacturer knows the estimated lifespan of the brake pads and other system parts, and it will give you the best time to replace the brake pads. On average, that time is every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, although many cars can go longer than that. We can gauge your brake pads’ lifespan for you.
Stop by Trojan Auto Care in Troy, OH, for a brake inspection. Set up an appointment by calling 937-410-3457.