What Are Brake Pads and When to Replace Them

By: Kris LeSueur   |   01 Feb 2020

Does your car make squeaking noises when you press down on your brake? If so, it may be time to get them replaced. Making sure your brake pads are in proper working condition, and replacing them when the time is right, won’t just save you money in the long run, but it can also potentially save your vehicle, or even your life in an accident.

What are Brake Pads?

Brake pads are an essential component to your vehicle. They sit between your brake shoe (the part that clamps down, slowing the tires’ rotation) and your brake drum. Without functioning brake pads, other elements of your vehicle, such as the discs, rotors, and calipers begin to wear away. You can avoid pricey repairs and unsafe driving conditions if you maintain your brake pads effectively.

Signs Your Brake Pads Need to be Replaced

If your vehicle fits any of the below qualifications, your brake pads probably need to be replaced:

1: Screeching Noise When Brake Is Pressed

One of the first signs of brake pad wear and tear is a squealing, screeching, or whining noise when the brakes are engaged. This sound is caused by a small, metallic shim indicator that’s embedded in your brake pad for just this purpose. When you hear this noise, it’s time to bring your car into an auto body shop like the one we have at LeSueur Car Company!

2: Very Little Brake Pad Left

You can also visually inspect your brake pads to know if it’s time to have them replaced. To do this, look through your tire spokes and you should see your brake pad compressed against your brake rotor. If the pad is less than ¼ inch thick, you should consider having your brakes checked out.

3: Grinding Noise

If you hear a deep, low noise that sounds like metal grinding, your brake pads, discs, and calipers are making contact. This can cause even further damage in your braking system, which is why you should bring your vehicle in to a service shop as quickly as possible if you hear this type of noise.

4: Dashboard Lights  

Newer vehicles typically have an indicator light on the dashboard that will signal when it’s time to replace your brake pads. Check your owner’s manual to see if your vehicle comes equipped with this warning signal.

Why Choose LeSueur Car Company

Brake pads generally last around 30,000 miles; however, this number can vary based upon how you drive and the area you drive in.  If you think your brakes need to be checked out, click here to schedule an appointment at our full-service, auto shop!

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