You might consider yourself a conscientious automobile owner. You don’t run out of gas, you get regular oil changes, and you probably stick to your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. If you neglect your brake maintenance until something goes wrong, though, you could be in for trouble.
Braking systems involve a complicated network of parts, and some parts must be replaced regularly. Brake pads need the most frequent changing because, in most cars, the two front wheels use rotors, metallic discs behind each wheel, and a caliper, which squeezes the rotors to make the wheels spin more slowly. Brake pads sit between the calipers and the rotors, and the braking process’s friction wears them down. Here are 5 signs your brake pads need replacing.
- Your brakes are squealing. You might hear a faint scraping, squealing, or buzzing sound when you’re driving. It might go away when you hit the brakes and then return when your foot comes off the pedal. This sound is part of your brake pads’ design. Most brake pads have built-in “wear indicators” to let you know when to change the pads. When the pad becomes worn, these indicators scrape against the rotor to warn of a problem.
- There’s a strange clicking or rattling sound. Some cars have a special holding device for brake pads; others hold them steady with fasteners. These devices keep the pads from wobbling; when they become loose because the brake pad is worn, they start to rattle.
- It takes a long time to stop your car. Something called “brake fade” happens when you apply the brakes for a long distance without stopping. This can happen when you’re driving down a mountain or on a winding road, but it will frequently wear out your brakes if you do it frequently. Keeping the pads and rotors in contact for a long time makes both parts heat up, decreasing their ability to generate friction, making it take longer to stop.
- Your car may pull to one side when you brake. Brake pads don’t typically wear out at the same rate. Sometimes, one side will wear out sooner than the other, which can make your car’s nose pull slightly. Handle this quickly to avoid stressing your steering system.
- Your brake pedal vibrates. If you step on the brake pedal and it starts to shake violently, it could be a brake pad problem. Brake pads are held together with binding resin, and this adhesive gets hot when the pads wear down. If it smears across your rotor unevenly, it can cause vibrations.
At All Tune and Lube, our ASE Certified Master Technicians have the experience and training needed to handle your brake maintenance, and we do it without stretching your wallet further than necessary. When there’s a problem with your brakes, you can trust us to get the job done right. Call us today at 714-871-4144 or contact us through our website.