It may not be something you think about often, but your brake pads should be in tip-top condition for your car to be safe. Brake pad wear occurs overtime where the brakes have slowly worn down, here we tell you how you can tell when your brake pads are worn and what you need to do about it.
How do I check for brake pad wear?
When checking for brake pad wear, there are two different things you need to do. It includes looking and listening, firstly you are going to want to look at your brake pads or discs. This can be done by looking through the wheel spokes. Secondly, listen out for your disc, if your pads have completely worn away your car will be making a screeching sound everytime you brake. There should be roughly around a quarter inch of the pad if there isn’t we recommend having brake pad replacements in Milton Keynes.
There are plenty of modern cars which will be able to tell you if your brake pads are worn due to their built-in sensor. Most sensors trigger a dashboard warning light which will indicate the brake pads are getting low and need replacing. We always recommend when your warning light shows, don’t leave it too long before deciding to replace them, you could be causing more damage by doing so.
Why do brakes screech?
If you are experiencing screeching brakes, it is often due to the pads being worn away to the point you are now reaching the discs. There is a small piece of metal called an indicator, which indicates that your brakes need replacing. We would like to note you should be able to hear this screeching even though your windows may be up. However, it may not be as noticeable if you’re constantly playing loud music or have your air conditioning on a high setting.
One thing we would like to note is occasionally if your car has been sitting in water for a long period of time i.e. it has been raining non-stop, and you haven’t used your vehicle, it can cause a thin layer of rust to appear on the brake rotors. When your first drive the car it may squeal, however, this is normal, and you should not be concerned.
Why is it taking me longer to brake?
You may find if your brakes are becoming worn they may be less responsive, you may have a brake fluid leak. While this is not directly linked to your brake pad wear, it is still linked to the way your brakes work and could affect the overall running of the vehicle. A good indication as to whether your vehicle leaks is if the pedal is pushing further down than normal for you to brake, and, if you seem to notice a small puddle underneath your car when parked. If your car is has a small leak you may be able to fill it up with brake fluid which can be purchased from Euro Car Parts. Alternatively, you can take your vehicle to a car service centre, for them to bleed the brakes and ensure they are roadworthy.
Why is the car pulling to one side?
If you find your vehicle is pulling to one side while braking it may an indication the brake lining is wearing more on one side. You may need to have the brake pads checked and replaced. Alternatively, you may find there is a foreign object in the brake fluid which can be causing the pulling; we recommend taking it to your local garage to have the brake fluid drained and replaced.
Why do my brakes feel like they are grinding?
You may find when braking there is a slightly metallic or grinding sound. This often means your brake pads have worn down so low the calliper has now reached the disc. If this does happen, we recommend going to have it fixed as soon as possible. Otherwise, you may be scratching the rotor which will cause an uneven surface. If left not only can it cause damage to your vehicle, but it can also be costly to fix.
Why is my brake pedal vibrating?
When pushing down on the brake pedal, you experience vibration or pulsating; it can often be the cause of uneven wheel alignment. Wheel alignment can often be caused by extreme braking for long periods of time; this is normally when you are going up steep roads or pulling another vehicle. This can mean the brake pads are unable to grab the surface meaning uneven wear and tear. With uneven wheel alignment, you can also be adding pressure to your suspensions, so it’s important you have wheel alignment in Milton Keynes.
How long do brake pads last?
Unfortunately, there are no strict rules on when your brake pads should be replaced and may differ from vehicle and model. It normally depends on how the car is driven and how often it is used. We usually recommend having your brake pads replaces every 50,000 miles. However, should you notice any of the symptoms previously mentioned you might need to have them replaced sooner?
It is always important that as soon as you notice any symptoms of worn brake pads or brakes, you have them checked by a highly qualified mechanic. If you leave your brake pads too long, you may find by leaving them you do more damage to your vehicle such as scratching the brake discs. Replacing multiple parts of your brakes can be both costly and time-consuming as your car may need to stay longer in the garage.
If you feel your brakes are going and it is no longer safe to drive, make sure you speak to a mechanic straight away. We also recommend you have a regular service to ensure your car is safe to drive on the road; they may advise your brakes pads are wearing low but do not need replacing at that moment in time, we recommend keeping a note of this.