How to know when to change brake pads: Key signs

  • Check for some signs that would tell you when to change the brake pads.
Check for signs telling you when to change the brake pads.
Check for signs telling you when to change the brake pads.

Ensuring that a vehicle's brakes are in proper working condition and replacing the worn brake pads and shoes when required is an essential step to keep a car in good condition. It is also necessary to ensure the safety of the vehicle and its occupants, as an optimum conditioned brake can potentially save the car as well as the life of its occupants in case of a mishap. Changing or replacing the brake pads or showed may not be your cup of tea, but you can certainly make sure when t take the vehicle to the mechanic to change its brake pads or shoes.

Here are the signs on how to understand when to change your vehicle's brake pads.

Also Read : How to ensure a longer life for brake pads: Key tips

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Check for screeching sound

When the brake pads get worn, a driver may notice a squealing or screeching sound when the brakes are engaged. This sound is caused by a metal attachment on the brake pad backing plate, which lets the driver know that the brake pads are worn. These wear indicators work on the same principle as dragging fingernails on a chalkboard. If you hear the screeching noise regularly while applying the brake, it is time to take the car for inspection and possibly change the brake pads. However, brake pads make similar noise when they are wet after rain. However, in such cases, the screeching sound should disappear after a few times of brake applications.

Less than a quarter inch of brake pad remaining

Brake pads can be visually inspected on disc brakes, allowing the driver to know when it is time to replace them. However, the driver may need to remove the wheels to perform this inspection. Check the brake assembly or calliper holding the brake pads compressed against the brake rotor. If the friction material on the brake pad is less than a quarter inch thick, it is time to replace the brake pads.

Deep metallic grinding

If you hear a deep noise like metal grinding, it is possibly a sign of brake pads worn away while the brake pad backing plates are making contact with discs or drums. Remember that such friction between metals can cause further damage to the braking system very quickly. Hence, whenever you hear such noise, don't waste time and bring the vehicle to a service centre to inspect the brakes and replace the pads as required.

Check for indicator lights on dashboard

Some modern and premium cars come with an indicator light on the instrument cluster that signals when it is time to replace the brake pads. Consult the owner's manual to see if your vehicle comes with such a signalling system. If the light comes on warning you, it is time to change the brake pads.

Lacklustre braking performance

Always check for optimum braking performance when applying the brake pedal. If you find the vehicle's braking system is not working properly with the optimum pressure applied to the pedal, it is probably time to replace the brake pads.

How to know when to change brake pads
Step 1 :

Check for screeching sound

Step 2 :

Less than a quarter inch of brake pad remaining

Step 3 :

Deep metallic grinding

Step 4 :

Check for indicator lights on instrument cluster

Step 5 :

Lacklustre braking performance

First Published Date: 12 Mar 2023, 11:01 AM IST
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