It’s inevitable that the brake pads wear out over time, regardless of the type of car you own. Unlike certain car issues that can go unnoticed, your brakes will send you clear warning signs that they need to be replaced. If you’re unsure of what these warning signs are, we’ve listed below the top indicators that your brakes need to be replaced immediately.
1. If You Hit the Brake Hard
The driving habits of the car owner can drastically affect how well the brake pads are working on a vehicle. For drives that tend to hit the brakes hard or find themselves frequently slamming the brakes, chances are they will need to replace their brake pads faster. Whereas for drivers that tend to gradually brake, the lifespan of their brake pads will be much longer. This is because, gentle braking will not erode them as fast.
Another key indication that your brake pads will need to be changed is the type of weather and kind of traffic you are typically driving in. If you live in an area with heavy ‘stop and go’ traffic (such as a city) your brakes are more susceptible to damage. This is because you are using them more frequently and much more abruptly compared to areas that have a lighter flow of traffic.
If you live in an area with very steep hills or high elevation your brake pad life span will also be reduced. This is because drivers will have to ride the brake more often to have control of the car compared to flat roads with low elevation.
Depending on the type of car you own, the materials that make up the brake pads can differ. Certain types of material are more long lasting and durable than others. For example, carbon-ceramic brakes last much longer than the standard metal ones. Keep in mind the most common type of material that is used for brake pads are either steel or metal, which can be found in most cars.
4. Making Noise
When a brake pad begins to wear out, there are certain noises that indicate they have reached their lifespan. If you hear any sort of screeching or squealing noise when you begin to release the brake pedal it is a sign that it should be looked at by a trained professional. You may also hear a grumbling or grinding sound while braking. This is caused by a wearing down of material over time which is causing the metals to rub together and create the noise you are hearing.
5. Indicator Lights
A clear indication that you should have your car looked at by a trained mechanic is if your service lights have turned on inside of the car. Not every car may have an indicator light on their dashboard to tell when they need their brakes replaced. To know if your car has this feature, it is best to check with the service manual on your vehicle.
If you have begun to notice a pulsating or vibrating motion while you are braking on your car, chances are you will need to have your brake pedals replaced. This is a sign that the material has worn down and is now rubbing together while you are braking your car. This can also be an indication that your vehicle is having issues with the router, or alignment and should be looked at immediately.