What is the best time to change your brake pads? (Signs It's Time)
Your brakes can be the difference between your next car accident and another. If the brake pads aren’t working properly, you might not be able to stop your car before it hits whatever is in front of it. That’s why it is important to know the signs it’s time to replace your brake pads.
From strange noise to odd vibrations, the brake pads will tell you when it’s time for replacement, you just need to pay attention. We review the top five signs to learn when it’s time to change brake pads and discuss how often you should install new brake pads.
What is the best time to replace brake pads?
The majority of manufacturers suggest changing your brake pads once every 40k to 50k miles. If you see any of these signs, it is important to replace the brake pads as soon as possible.
The possibility of brake pads becoming too thin may lead to other costly issues such as replacements for brake rotors.
You driving style, as well as the brakes that you choose will impact how frequently they must be replaced. If you commute every day, or spend much time driving in stop-and-go traffic, your brake pads will need to be replaced more frequently than if you drive on the freeway. A two-footed motorist is likely to be more dependent on their brake pads, which leads to more frequent replacements.
5 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Brake Pads
1. Strange Noises
A strange sound that happens when you brake is the most obvious sign that your brake pads have gone bad. You will most often hear the brake pads squealing and squeaking when you first stop. It could indicate worn-out pads but it may also be due to moisture.
There is nothing to fear if your brakes stop working after a couple of times.
You should have your brakes checked immediately to avoid any grinding sounds. The metal wear indicator makes a grinding noise if the pads become too worn. The pads can rub metal-to–metal against the rotors.
If you don’t change the brake pads before this occurs, you are looking at more expensive repairs. This is when you'll likely need to change your brake rotors.
It should be easy to press down on the brake pedal of your car and it will bring you to an abrupt halt. When the pads wear, vibrations can happen in the brake pedal.
It can get so bad that it is possible to feel it in your hands. At this point, it’s likely that the brake rotors have become warped and will also require replacement.
RELATED : 5 Symptoms to Look Out For in Worn Brake Pads
3. Longer Stopping Times
Your brakes should work flawlessly when you press the pedal. However, if the pads become worn out the operation could fail. When there is a loss of performance, it’s time to have the brake pads looked at.
In most cases, it’s just a matter of installing new brake pads. However, there’s also the chance that your brake fluid might be running low, possibly from a leak in the system. An inspection of the entire system is necessary in order to find out why.
4. Brake pad indicator light
Modern vehicles include advanced alarms for almost every system. Brake Pad Indicator Lighting can illuminate the condition of your brake pads if they are getting thin.
The ABS (Antilock Braking System) light is also on the dashboard, but this light doesn’t indicate the status of the brake pads. This light is to warn you of ABS problems.
5. Thin brake pads
You can test the thickness of your brake pads at home if you have mechanical skills. It isn’t difficult to perform this visual inspection.
You can use a flashlight to examine the spokes in your car's wheel. Pay attention to how thick the brake pads are when you find them. If the material appears to be ¼-inch or less thick, it’s time for new brake pads.
RELATED: 4 Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Brake Rotors & How Often to Replace
RELATED: Ceramic vs Organic Brake Pads – Which is Better?
Cost of Brake Pad Repair
Each axle costs around $150 to replace the brake pads. The brake pad replacement can be done by yourself, which can help you save money. For the replacement of the brake pads, you will only need to use basic automotive tools. If the rotor is damaged or needs to be repaired, however this can usually be done with assistance.
These prices can go up if your vehicle is a luxurious one or you opt for more costly brake pads. An organic brake pad costs the least. The more costly composite brake pads contain metal in the material. This provides greater heat resistance, and less brake fade for heavy tasks like towing or hauling.
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