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How to tell your brake pads need changing

By April 27, 2022November 20th, 2023No Comments

Brake pads are the essential piece of equipment that slows your car down once you apply the brakes.

After applying the brakes, brake fluid travels to the brake callipers which then push the pads into the brake rotors. Wear and tear on the rotors from excessive brake application (relying solely on the breaks to come to a stop, rather than slowing down before applying brakes) or prolonged time between pad changes causes the pads to become shaved down.

Waiting lengthy periods before changing your brake pads can cause uneven wear and damage to the rotors. It’s cheaper to monitor brake pads and change them regularly than it is to replace the rotors.

If the pads wear unevenly, the car will be pulled to one side and this can create similar mechanical and economical problems as misaligned wheels.

Here are 3 ways to tell if your brake pads need changing:

1. Brake pads are worn away

The pads are simple to check, though we won’t go into that now as each model and make of car use differing pads. Once you’ve pulled the tyre and pads away from the rotors, check the pads aren’t worn down excessively.

Signs of this include uneven wear on pads or rotors, cracked or chipped pads, and thin padding.

2. Unusual sounds

The more a brake pad wears away, the closer the rotor gets to scraping metal on metal.

If the pads are left too long between changes, you’ll be met with a squealing noise. This noise begins as a mildly incessant whirring when the brakes are applied and eventually becomes an ear-piercing squeal.

3. The car is pulling to one side

When the pads wear unevenly, the friction generated causes vibrations whenever the brakes are applied. If left long enough, excessive wear can pull the car to the side of the damaged pad.

Not only does this present significant problems when it comes to car control and safety, it can also cause costly mechanical issues throughout your car.

Don’t wait until your next service to have them looked at. Learn the signs now so you can prevent a costly fix and the potential for safety issues to you and your passengers.

If you’ve been involved in a not-my-fault accident, please don’t hesitate to contact our attentive team at Not My Fault to schedule a replacement vehicle.