How Do You Know Your Car Needs New Brake Pads?

Brake pads play an important role in road safety. You should look out for tell-tale signs when they need to be replaced.

Your brake pads play an important part in keeping you and other road users safe. Typically, your car will have 4 to 8 brake pads. Brakes exist as an interconnected system, and when one part is damaged, that can filter down and wear other components out. Driving with damaged brake pads can also cause issues with the rotors and put additional strain on your tyres – which could lead to them having uneven wear and being unbalanced.

How long do brake pads last?

Depending on how much driving you do and where you drive, brake pads should last anywhere between 15,000 and 70,000 kilometres.

But how can you tell when your brake pads need replacement? There are some minor issues to look out for when your brake pads are nearing the end of their life.

1. Your car warning light for your brakes is switching on

One of the most obvious ways you can find out if something is amiss with your brakes is by paying attention to your car’s warning lights. If your brake light is on and your hand brake has been fully released, you’ll need to have your brakes assessed by an expert.

One of the easiest ways to know if there is something wrong with your brakes is to pay attention to your car's warning lights.

2. Your brakes are making a squeaking or squealing noise

One of the most common signs of worn brake pads is a squeaking or squealing noise coming from your brakes when you use them. Many car manufacturers fit metal wear indicators to the backing plate of the brake pads, so you know your brake pads are due for replacement. Don’t only rely on hearing squeaking or squealing noises as a signal that you need to change your brake pads though, as not all manufacturers fit wear indicators.

3. You can hear a deep metallic grinding sound

Hearing a deep metallic grinding or growling sound coming from your brakes could indicate that your brake pads have completely worn down and the metal backing plates could be creating friction with your brake discs or drums. This can cause serious damage to your brake system, so make sure you take your car in to be checked by a professional as soon as possible.

4. You feel vibrations when braking

When you press down on the brakes, if you notice a vibration on the pedal itself or on the steering wheel, it’s another sign that it’s time for a brake pad replacement.

If you feel a vibration on the brake pedal when you press down on it, it could be a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced.

5. It takes longer for your car to stop

If you’re noticing slower stopping times when hitting the brakes, it might mean your brake pads have worn out completely or that your brake fluid is low. You’ll need to take your vehicle to the mechanic as soon as possible if this happens.

6. Uneven wearing

Is your car pulling to one side? While this is a common sign of an issue with your car’s suspension, it could also mean your brake pads may have been wearing unevenly.

7. Your brake pads look thin

Another way to check your brakes is by inspecting them for wear. You can do this by looking between the spokes of your wheels. If the pads appear to be less than 5mm thick, you’re more than likely due for a new set of brake pads.

When you take care of your brakes, they’ll take care of your safety on the road. At TAMMS Repair Centres, our mechanics will check the condition of your brake pads during each scheduled service. Or if you have an immediate issue or concern, please give us a call so we can assist you.

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