3 Signs It's Time To Replace Your Brake Pads

When driving your vehicle, it's important that your car's safety features function as intended to keep other drivers and your self as safe as possible. This guideline also applies to your brake pads. Your brake pads help supply the necessary friction to stop your automobile.

Though your car's maintenance schedule is an excellent resource for determining when to complete specific repairs, your brakes may wear out ahead of schedule, especially if you do a lot of stop-and-go driving or if you have to drive down steep hills. Here are a few signs that it's time to replace your brake pads.

1. Your Brake Pads Appear Visibly Worn

One of the easiest ways to determine if it's time for new brake pads is to visually examine the brakes. You can view your vehicle's brakes by looking through the spokes of your wheels. If your brake pads appear less than a quarter of an inch thick, this is an indicator that your brake pads are nearing the end of their lifespan.

A mechanic can provide a more precise assessment regarding when you should replace your brake pads. 

2. A Squealing Sound Occurs When You Brake 

If you hear a squealing sound when you apply your brakes, this is another indicator that your brake pads need to be replaced. Modern-day brake pads have a metal shield known as indicator that makes a high-pitched squealing sound when it is time to replace the pads.

Brakes that occasionally squeal may do so due to exposure to moisture. If you constantly here the squealing sound, this warrants a visit to your mechanic.

3. Your Vehicle Refuses to Break Smoothly

When you press your brakes, your vehicle should come to a smooth stop. If your car jumps or feels like it shakes when you press the brakes, this can mean that your brake pads have worn down so much that your rotors have been damaged.

The rotors work in conjunction with your brake pads to stop your vehicle. When the brake pads completely wear out, the causes the metal of your brake discs to come into contact with the metal of your brake calipers. This rubbing can cause your brake rotors to warp due to the immense amount of friction. Damaged rotors also make it difficult for your car to come to a smooth stop.

Ideally, you should replace your brake pads before your vehicle gets to this point. Though you can grind the rotors down or turn them to flatten them out, it's frequently cheaper to replace them. Regardless of which rotor repair or replacement option you select, you can expect worn down rotors to necessitate an expensive repair bill. 

Contact a local brake repair service for more help.