6 Signs That You Need New Brake Pads

June 19th, 2023 by

Warning Signs That You Need to Replace Your Brake Pads
how to know if you need new brake pads

Depending on their quality, brake pads tend to last between 30,000 and 70,000 miles. Once they reach this range, they become less functional and will need to be replaced.

If you don’t prioritize replacing brake pads in a timely manner, you risk causing damage to your brakes themselves. This can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and should be avoided at all costs. But how can you tell whether your brake pads need a replacement? Continue reading to learn if you need new brake pads.

1. Noises When Braking

One of the most notable signs that you need new brake pads is noises when braking. These typically present themselves as squealing and/or squeaking noises. The volume of these noises is generally influenced by how much pressure you’re applying to the brakes. The more pressure you apply, the louder and more annoying the sound will be. This is because brake pads are equipped with a metal strip known as an indicator. Its specific purpose is to make this sound to alert you that your brake pads are on their last leg.

It’s important to note, however, that new brake pads can make squeaking sounds as well. If you just had your pads replaced, they might squeak for the first few hundred miles of use. If you have any questions as to whether your brakes are in good shape, you should take your vehicle to a licensed mechanic.

Learn More: Car Maintenance 101: Everything You Need to Know

2. A Grinding Feeling When Braking

Another sign that you probably need new brake pads is if you feel a grinding sensation when applying pressure to the brakes. If you’re feeling this, it’s likely because your brake pads have worn down entirely. In fact, at this stage, the detector strip likely isn’t even present. In other words, it’s past the point that you need to replace your brake pads.

So, if you feel that grinding vibration while applying your brakes, make sure to have your brake pads replaced as soon as possible. The longer you allow this problem to persist, the more damage it will do to your brake rotors, and the sooner you’ll have to replace them as well.

3. Veering to One Side When Braking

In some cases, brake pads will wear unevenly. In other words, the left front brake pad will wear down quicker than the right front brake pad. When this occurs, it can cause the car to veer to one side when the brakes are applied. This is due to the brakes engaging at varying pressures, therefore causing inconsistencies in the wheel speed. When one wheel is moving faster than the other, the vehicle is going to veer in the direction of the faster wheel.

Not only will this require a brake pad replacement, but it will also require further attention to the other components of your braking system. After all, if your brake pads are wearing down at different speeds, there’s likely something “off” about your brake rotors or calipers.

4. Longer Braking Periods

A year ago, you could stop from 45 miles per hour in a period of only five seconds. Now, it’s taking you up to eight seconds to facilitate the same stop. Does this have something to do with your brake pads wearing down? You bet it does!

As your brake pads reach the end of their proverbial rope, and only their metal detection strips are left, they’re not going to be able to absorb the impact of your brake rotors as much as they used to. This is what results in that longer braking period. Replace your brake pads soon or you’re going to be hitting straight metal on metal. That can do a great deal of damage to your brakes, even if it’s only for a short while.

5. Excessive Force Needed in Order to Brake the Vehicle

Applying the brakes in your vehicle should be simple. You should only have to put a small bit of pressure down on them in order to get your vehicle to stop. If you find that you have to put tremendous amounts of pressure down on your brakes in order to get your vehicle to a resting position, a brake pad replacement is likely needed. In fact, at this juncture, you’re probably well past the point of the need for a replacement. In other words, you need to replace your worn out brake pads as soon as possible.

6. Visual Thinning

One last thing you can do to determine whether you need to be replacing the brake pads is to inspect them visually. Get down on the ground, look through the holes in your hubcaps and see if you can spot your brake pads. They should be just off the outside of the front of each wheel.

Brake pads should be 4 mm in thickness or greater. If yours are measuring less than this, there’s no question about it: they need to be replaced. Have them inspected by your local mechanic. They’ll determine for certain whether a replacement is necessary and then take all necessary actions.

And That’s How to Know if You Need New Brake Pads

And there it is; that’s how to know if you need new brake pads. Keep an eye out for these signs and when you detect them, make the change sooner rather than later. The state of your brakes depends on it.

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