For a standard vehicle, brake pads should typically be replaced every 20,000 – 40,000 miles while rotors typically should be changed anywhere from 30,000 – 50,000 miles. With that being said, you’ll likely experience minor symptoms when your brake pads are losing their tread. This makes diagnosis and repairs easy. For the majority of vehicle owners though, knowing when to change the pads can be difficult. Not recognizing the signs for brake pad replacement can lead to expensive repairs or even potential injuries. Here, Doug Yates Towing & Recovery discusses six common signs that it is time for a brake pad replacement.
Squeaking or Squealing
When it comes to brake pad replacement the first sign drivers typically begin to notice is a squeaking or squealing noise coming from the brakes. Squealing brake pads are caused by them being worn down over time. Once they are nearing the end of their life span you’ll start to experience a grinding noise. Once you start hearing a grinding noise, you’ll start to damage your rotors. Don’t allow this to happen as it can end up being very expensive to repair.
Grinding Brake Pads
As we stated earlier, if you’re hearing a grinding noise while applying pressure to the brake pedal, your brake pads need to be replaced ASAP. Newer vehicle brake pads have built-in metal wear indicators, which are designed to make a loud noise and alert you that it’s time to replace the pads. If you leave your grinding brake pads unattended, you are asking for expensive repairs to get the rotors fixed. Avoid this by going to your local mechanic when you start to hear squeaking or squealing.
Vibrations When Braking
Another sure sign that you need a brake pad replacement is when you feel vibrations. In most cases, this means that the rotors are warped and creating uneven brake pad wear at the same time. If you start to experience vibrations when applying the brakes, be sure to take your car in to get inspected and repaired.
‘Pulling’ To One Side
“Pulling” is another performance-related sign that brake pad replacement is needed. This refers to a situation where the front end of your vehicle tends to pull to one side or another when you attempt to stop. This usually means that the pads on either side of your vehicle are wearing at a different rate for one reason or another. It isn’t uncommon for slight variations in the pads to cause this uneven wearing, but it could be indicative of a larger issue with the hydraulic system.
Increase In Stop Time
Another major sign that your brakes need to be checked is when it takes longer to come to a complete stop. If you’re experiencing an increase in stoppage time while applying the brakes, it may mean your brake pads are worn down completely or that your brake fluid is low. Be sure to take your car in to get serviced ASAP if this is the case. The last thing you want is for your brakes to go out and you can’t stop on the road.
Brake Pad Replacement Light Comes On
Modern vehicles are equipped with brake warning lights that appear on the dash. One is your Antilock Braking System (ABS) light and the other is your brake system warning light. Your brake light won’t always come on when there is an issue so be cautious when you suspect an issue. When you see one of these lights, it is highly recommended to take your car in to be serviced.
Thinning Brake Pads
An easy way to check on your brake pads is to visually inspect them for wear. Do this by looking between the spokes of your wheels and locating your brake pad. If it appears to be less than a ¼ inch or 6.4 mm thick, you’re probably due for a set of new brake pads. Another easy way is to have the service shop take a look when you get your oil changed. They will be able to get up under the car and check them for you upon request.
Broken Down? Need A Tow?
Doug Yates Towing and Recovery is located in the city limits of Chattanooga, one of Tennessee’s most vibrant business communities. Since 1946 it has been the company’s mission to conduct business with integrity and professionalism in all phases of day-to-day services. We offer 24/7 towing and recovery services for all motorists and vehicle types. Our team of tow truck technicians will help get your vehicle wherever it needs to be safely and securely. You can count on us for all your towing & recovery needs. Give us a call today!