The general rule of thumb for brake pad replacement is every 50,000, but bear in mind, you may need to have your vehicle’s brake pads changed sooner than that. The pads might also last longer between changes. The best way to tell when you need new pads is to have Fast Lane Automotive inspect and service your brakes when your owner’s manual says to do so; usually every 15,000 or 30,000 miles. There are also signs that your pads are wearing down and need replacement. Here’s what they are.
Brake Light Warning
Your brake light should only turn on when you set the parking brake and when you first turn on your vehicle. The light stays on until you release the parking brake or once the initial system check is complete. If your brake light turns on at any other time, your pads have probably worn down to a sensor embedded in them and this is your warning that the pads are getting too low and it’s time for a new set.
Another warning embedded into the pads is a noisemaker if you will. Once your pads reach a certain level of wear, you will hear high-pitched squealing from the wheels as you pick up speed. This noise will stop once you slow down and stop. It’s important to understand that this squealing could be something else, but if it sounds as if it’s coming from the brakes, it’s probably the low-pad warning sound.
You’ll know when your brake pads have worn down completely. Every time you step on the brake pedal, you’ll hear grinding noises if you don’t have any pads left. Your vehicle, steering wheel, or brake pedal may also vibrate. Once the pads are gone, the metal backing of the pads presses against the metal rotors when you apply the brakes. This consequential action not only causes the grinding you hear but also damages the rotors.
Why Changing Your Brake Pads Is Important
Aside from the damage caused by the metal-against-metal contact between the pads and the rotors, changing your brake pads when they need it is important because it keeps your brake system reliable and functioning as it should be. Pushing any system on your vehicle without factory-scheduled maintenance is a bad idea, but pushing the brake system is also a dangerous one.
Stop by Fast Lane Automotive in Orlando, FL, for a brake inspection if you think your pads are too low. You can call us in advance to set up an appointment by contacting us today.