Your car’s brake pads perform an incredibly important role. When you hit the brake pedal, it’s the pads that press against your wheel rotors to decrease speed and bring the vehicle to a stop. Unfortunately, brake pads never last forever, and your car won’t be as safe if the brake pads are too worn.
With that in mind, keep an eye out for these 5 common signs of brake pad wear.
- Brake Pedal Pulsing
When you press your foot down on the brake pedal, do you feel vibrations or a sense of grabbing? If so, you have ‘pulsing brakes’. When the pads are worn out or become warped, they can cause those odd sensations through the brake pedal. Could be you simply need to have them re-machined, but most mechanics will recommend fitting completely new brake pads.
- Odd Noises
Worn brake pads often produce a variety of odd noises when the brakes are applied. At first, you may notice a rattling or clicking sound that indicates you need new pads. If you don’t replace them, you’re likely to hear screeching – this means metal-on-metal contact is occurring. Eventually, you’ll hear a growling or grinding sound that indicates the pad is completely worn down.
- Pulling to One Side
There are a few reasons your car might pull to the side, but if it happens without using the steering wheel when you’ve applied the brakes, it’s probably the brake pads that are at fault.
- Stopping Takes Longer
If bringing your car to a stop takes longer than it used to, you have a problem known as ‘brake fade’. It usually happens when you’ve been pressing the brakes down too hard, causing premature wear. If your car lacks proper stopping power, you need to have the brake pads replaced as soon as possible.
- Pads Are Too Thin
If you’re still not sure about your brake pads, why not take a look at them? Look through the spokes of your wheels – the outside brake pad should be visible pressing against the metal rotor. If there seems to be less than ¼ inch visible, your pads are too thin and should be replaced.
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