Brake Pad Warning Signs

One of the best ways to maintain your automobile’s brake system is to replace the brake pads as soon as possible once they’ve worn down. There are several ways to tell that the brake pad surfaces are too low, and Ideal Automotive can replace them once it is time. Let’s talk about the brake pads, how they work, and the warnings that you’ll receive once the pads are no longer useful to your braking system.

How the Brake Pads Work

Brake pads are made from two primary parts: a steel back plate and a friction-inducing surface pad. When the pads are engaged, i.e. you’ve stepped on the brake pedal, the calipers press them against the rotors, another metal brake part, to generate friction. The friction caused by the pad surface rubbing against the rotors produces kinetic energy. This energy is what slows down and stops your car. This simple physics is no different from you dragging your feet to stop your bicycle when you were a kid.

Signs the Pad Surface Is Low

Every time you apply the brakes, the pad surface is worn down a little bit. This is a natural consequence of the friction between the brake pad backings and the rotors. It’s important to always make sure you have plenty of brake pad surface because the steel back plates can damage the rotors when they press against them if you do not have any pad surface left. The easiest way to tell whether your brake pads are too low is to have them measured, which is done during a brake inspection and surface.

Brake pads can also wear down prematurely. In rare cases, the pads might have a manufacturing defect that reduces their lifespan. How you brake can also affect how long your brake pads last. For example, if you ride your brakes or have a bad habit of stopping short all the time, you will wear down the brake pads sooner than their anticipated mileage duration. Brake pad warning signs include

  • A pad wear indicator warning
  • A brake light dashboard warning
  • Squealing when you’re driving
  • Grinding when you stop
  • Wobbling when you stop

To keep your brake system healthy and avoid damaging the rotors, have the brake pads changed at the first sign of trouble. This ensures they don’t wear down to the steel backing and warp the rotors. You can also play it extra safe by scheduling a brake inspection every 15,000 miles.

We here at Ideal Automotive in Blaine, MN, would be happy to keep your brake system safe and reliable.

Photo by algre from Getty Images Canva Pro

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