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Brake Repair: Inspection and Replacement FAQs

Brake Repair: Inspection and Replacement FAQs

It goes without saying that brakes are one of the most important parts of a car. The idea of brakes not working during rush hour traffic, going down a steep hill, or even going slowly down a street with no other cars is enough to scare any experienced driver. It is important to ensure that a vehicle's brake pads are in proper working condition. To do so, brakes should be inspected regularly and replaced when necessary.

What are Brake Pads and How Do They Work?

When a brake pedal is compressed, a brake pad is pressed against the brake disc (or rotor), and this friction helps stop the car. This process causes a lot of wear and tear on the brake pads, especially for drivers who spend a lot of time in stop and go traffic or drive mostly in the city. Eventually, brake pads wear thin and their ability to stop the vehicle quickly decreases. But how do you know when to ask "Do I need new brakes?"

Warning Signs of Brake Wear and brake nose

When to Replace Brake Pads: Warning Signs of Brake Wear

As brake pads wear thin, they get to the point where they need to be replaced. Thankfully, they do exhibit some warning signs to let you know when to replace them before they become an issue.

Indicator Light or Message

Some newer cars have sensors that alert the driver when brake pads are worn down and need replacement. This could be in the form of a dashboard light or message. However, many cars do not have this, so it is important that drivers recognize the warning signs of brake wear.

Brake Noise

The most obvious sign is the squealing or screeching of the brakes when the pedal is depressed. While the sound is terrible, it does not indicate a serious issue. Many brake pads are built with a metal scraper that serves as a warning alarm when the pads wear down and are ready for replacement.

Brake Pedal Changes

Another warning sign is that the vehicle will require longer distances or more pressure on the brake pedal to come to a complete stop. In addition, a vibrating brake pedal is not normal and means that the brake pads have worn out.

Grinding Sound

A bad sign is a grinding sound, which indicates that a brake pad is gone altogether. When this happens, continuing to drive the car and use the brakes will result in damage to the rotors. This exponentially increases the cost of a repair.

When Should One Get a Break Inspection Done?

Most brake pads last anywhere from 40,000 to 55,000 kilometres. However, a brake pad's life will greatly depend on the type of driving, the type of vehicle, and the type of driver. To keep on top of maintenance, brake pads should be inspected at every oil change and replaced when they reach about 0.1 inch.

Most importantly, brake pads should be replaced early or at the first sign or sound of trouble. Repair costs increase the longer maintenance is put off, but most importantly, properly functioning brakes are a top priority for safe driving.

Categories: Servicing