How to Tell When Brakes Need Changing

Many drivers’ biggest fear is to be driving on the highway and coming to a stop, only to find that their brakes are no longer responding when they’re pressed on. The fact is, poor braking is a serious cause of collisions on the highway. While it’s less common today than it used to be, drivers need to pay attention to this part of their vehicle

There are a couple of very good indicators that the brake pads need to be replaced.

Bad Noises – If you start to hear squealing, grinding, or whining sounds whenever you press the brake pedal, there is a good chance that they are starting to wear a little thin.

Poor Traction – if you find that it takes longer to stop your vehicle; that they do not stop you as effectively as usual. Then you need to get them checked.   If you notice any of the two problems above, you should have a mechanic take a look as soon as possible and see if they need replacing. Remember, it’s not just your safety and anyone else traveling with you, but also that of all other drivers on the road.

The way your brake system works

When you hit the brake pedal, it forces the brake pads to press against the rotating disk rotors which are installed in the vehicles braking system. This slows the car down then eventually brings it to a halt. When somebody says the they need replacing, what they usually mean is that it’s the the brake pads. That’s because they take the majority of the friction and heat when the car is stopping. brakes

It is recommended that you change your brake pads approximately after every 30,000-35,000 miles. Although, obviously, there will be many factors which determine their life span. The nature of your driving, the conditions you drive in, and whether or not you’re in the habit of slamming on the brakes at the last minute. The materials used in the manufacturing of your brake system will also be a large deciding factor in how long they last.  Try to avoid cheap, “after-market” products. We all put our vehicles through different day-to-day wear so it is critical you know what to look for in order to extend their life-span.

Also, if you hear the sound of metal-on-metal, when you try to stop, it means you may have damaged the rotors. That will usually cost you about 90 dollars/wheel. If you catch it early the mechanic may be able to just “re-grind them”.  You will need to get this fixed immediately.

It is critical you pay attention to your brakes and make sure you maintain them before any real damage is done. This will save you money and will obviously help to keep you safe.