When Should You Replace Your Brake Pads?

21 September 2021 / autocentrechorley

Brakes are one of the most important components of your car. They allow you to slow down your vehicle to control the speed, come to a stop or avoid a collision, making them absolutely essential for not only your own safety but the safety of other road users around you. 

This is why it is crucial for you to ensure your brakes are well maintained and replaced when they need to be, so you can be sure they’re working to the best of their ability. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the most common signs your brake pads need replacing.

Signs Your Brake Pads Need Replacing

Squeaking or Squealing Noise That Comes from the Brakes

One of the first signs that it may be time to replace your brake pads is if you start to hear persistent spelling of squeaking noises coming from your brakes. Whilst some squealing noises can be expected under certain weather conditions such as in rain, if you find that your brakes are squeaking every time you use them, or that they produce a loud screeching sound then it may be time to have them looked at by a professional.

Some brake pads have a semi-metallic layer within the brake pad material or an external sensor which is designed to screech when it is due to be replaced. This can be heard even when you aren't using the brakes, though it’s important to note that if you wait too long to get your brakes fixed at this point, the screeching noise will soon be replaced with a grinding sound which indicates that your brake pads have worn down entirely which could lead to additional costs if your brake disc comes damaged too.

The Warning Light Has Turned on

Some cars have a warning light which indicates that you need to get your brakes checked out and others have sensors on the brake pad which is triggered when they have become worn down. Make sure to check your owners’ manual first to determine if your car has either of these and get them looked at by a professional if the lights turn on.

Your Car Pulls to One Side When Braking

If you can feel your car being pulled to one side whilst you’re driving and braking, this could be a sign that your brake pads have worn out. It’s important to get this checked out as your car pulling to one sign can also indicate a number of other issues such as incorrect wheel alignment, uneven tyre pressure, a stuck brake caliper and many more.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

Another sign your brake pads need replacing is if your brake pedal starts to vibrate or feel unsteady as you press it down as this means your brake pads have worn out. Make sure to get this looked at as soon as you notice it to prevent any further damage which could result in more costly repairs.

Your Brake Pads are Less than A Quarter of an Inch Thick

One last way to determine whether or not it is time to replace your brake pads is by looking at them. Take a look between the spokes on your wheels to locate the brake pad on the rotor of the tire. If this appears to be less than a quarter of an inch (6.35mm) thick, then you will likely need to have them replaced soon.

Get Your Brakes Checked at Autocentre Chorley

Brakes should be regularly inspected to check:

  • Measuring pad and shoe thickness

  • Even wear of the pads and shoes

  • Check discs for run out and hot spots

  • Make sure the wheel cylinders, brake lines and brake master cylinder are not leaking

  • Wear on calibers

  • Free movement and fluid leaks

  • Level and condition of the brake fluid. 

  • Proper routing and placement of the brake and anti-lock brake sensors.

All of these components need to be in good shape and working properly for the vehicle to have 100% brake system effectiveness while driving. You can get a free brake check at Autocentre Chorley, where we’ll fully inspect your braking system to ensure it is working as it should. Book your free inspection today by filling out our contact form online or giving us a call on 01257 269 298.


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