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If you are experiencing brake judder, squeaking, or grinding noises when braking, your brake pads may be worn out. These symptoms often mean that the friction material on the surface of the pad is too low and needs to be replaced. When it comes to knowing how do I know if my brake pads are worn out? There are a few ways you can check for yourself.
How Do I Know If My Brake Pads Are Worn Out?
Keep an eye out for the following signs that your brake pads may need replacing:
1. Squealing of Brake Pads
If you hear a screech or squeal when you push your brake pedal, it could be that the brakes need attention.
In most cases, brake pad manufacturers embed a wear indicator in the pads themselves. When this part wears out and rubs against the brake rotor, you start to hear those squealing noises from your brakes
If you notice regular squealing when braking, it’s time to get your brake pads checked out by a professional so they can measure their wear and make recommendations for replacement.
2. Metal Grinding
If you hear a screeching sound of metal grinding when you brake, then it is important to slow down your car and stop right away.
When you hear a sound that sounds like metal grinding on metal, it means your brake pads are worn out and touching the brake calipers. This can cause other parts of the car to break, so you need to go get your car inspected before something happens.
3. Thin Brake Pads
Waiting for a squealing-grinding sound to happen before replacing your brake pads is not the only way to know when they need replacement. You can also measure the thickness of the material in order to determine if it needs replacements, though you should always replace them as soon as you detect any abnormality.
Check out: The Best Brake Pads For The Money!
Brake pads should be above 6.4mm (¼ inch) in order to work, and below 3.2mm (⅛ inch). If your brake pads are thinner than 3.2 mm (⅛ inch), your brakes may fail soon.
4. Indicator Lights
Modern vehicles often come with an indicator light that notifies drivers when it’s time to change their brake pads.
The downside to changing brake pads after the indicator lights up is that you will also have to change the sensor.
How To Make Your Brake Pads Last Longer
Your brake pads are one of the parts that wear down faster. To make them last longer, here’s some advice from our experts:
1. Drive Slower
As you drive slower, the brakes will have to exert less force to stop the vehicle. Lower pad pressure also extends the lifespan of pads by applying less wear and tear.
You should always do your best to drive carefully and be mindful of the speed limit.
2. Reduce The Weight Of Your Car
One of the easiest ways to extend your brake pad life is by shedding extraneous weight.
Review your cargo carrier, the back seat, and the trunk to ensure you’re not carrying unnecessary weight.
Lighter cars are usually more responsive and require less stopping power.
3. Engine Braking
In order to avoid wearing out your brake pads, make sure to utilize engine braking.
Keeping your foot off the accelerator and downshifting through the gears is a great way to slow down without using your brakes.
The way to avoid never needing your brakes is by only braking in an emergency or when the car is in first gear (where very little force is required).
Note: It’s not recommended that you use the brakes to slow your vehicle at all while it is in automatic mode.
Watch for signs of brake wear and take measures to prolong the life of your brakes to ensure you are always driving safely. Your own safety is the safety of those around you.