Knowing when to replace your brakes

Knowing When to Replace Your Brakes

While many car problems have no warning signs before the engine dies or a repair shop alerts you to a major problem, brakes, specifically the pads, will give you warning signs to let you know you need to replace them soon. Ignoring the squealing noise can lead to dangerous situations as well as higher expenses when you get around to having them replaced.

Pedestrians, school buses and other cars on the roads depend on your car being able to stop when it needs to stop. There may be no feeling more terrifying when driving than trying to stop at a busy intersection and realizing the car has no brakes. Southern Utah Auto Tech advises getting your brakes taken care of as soon as possible to avoid expensive repair work. In most cases, pads can be replaced for under $100.

Replacing pads before anything else begins to wear will help you avoid having to schedule transport to have a car with no braking ability hauled into the shop. It also helps lower the risk of an expensive brake job where you might need to replace the rotors or in a worse case, the master cylinder or brake lines.

A company like A-1 Auto Transport can help if you need your car hauled to the shop from an area outside the general service area!

How Do I Know the Pads Need Replaced?
Fortunately for car owners, many manufacturers of brake pads place a tiny piece of metal inside the pad itself. The piece of metal, called an indicator, will omit a high-pitched squeal when the pad wears down to around ¼ of the pad.

When you hear that squeal, you need to go ahead and schedule brake service. You probably have 2-4 weeks left to drive around depending on how many miles you drive daily. The more you drive, the less time your pads have.

The Squealing Noise is Not Guaranteed!
Many people who live in areas where the car will have to drive in conditions that can cause rusting, such as near a beach or in cold climates where salt and chemicals might be on the roads to melt snow and ice, may not have a noise to alert them to a brake problem.

Some manufacturers don’t place indicators inside the pads and in some cases, an indicator can fall off the pad entirely and won’t be there when you need it most. Some people depend on waiting to hear a noise before the take their car to a shop for repair. There are other ways to tell if your brakes need to be replaced.

If you notice an odd feeling when you push your foot down on the brake pedal, or the pedal seems to be going farther down than normal, you should take the car in for a brake inspection. Or, if it seems to be taking your car a longer time to stop than normal, an inspection and most likely a pad replacement is in store.

Being able to stop your car is one of the most important things you can ensure to keep you and your family, as well as others on the road, safe and not cause a crash during a drive. If you’re worried that your brakes may need replaced and you don’t hear a squealing noise, it is best to go ahead and take the car in for a thorough brake inspection to make sure everything is alright.