Four Signs it’s Time to Get Your Brake Pads Replaced

If you replace your brake pads when necessary, you’ll extend the life of your brake system, whether anti-lock, disc, or drum. Thankfully, your pads will tell you when it’s time to replace them. If you maintain your braking system, you can measure them and know when your car, truck, or SUV’s brake system needs to new pads. Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair also recommends you pay attention to the following symptoms of worn pads.

Squealing Noises

Imagine you’re driving along and you keep hearing squealing noises. You notice the squeals stop when you step on the brake pedal. This seems odd. What is going on? Many brake pad manufacturers design the pads with a layer or computer chip deep in the pads designed to make noise or set off your brake warning light when the pads are getting too low. This squealing sound is the layer that makes noise.

Metallic Grinding

If your pads do not have that warning system embedded in them and you haven’t had your brakes inspected in a long time, you might hear grinding sounds when you apply your brakes. This is a bad sign because it means the pads have worn all the way down to their metal backing and you are grinding the pads against the rotors when you brake. Eventually, the metal-on-metal friction will damage the rotors.

Brake Warning Light

As mentioned above, some brake pad manufacturers install computer chips in the pads to trigger a brake warning light on your dashboard when they’ve worn down and are ready for replacement. Your brake light will turn on for two reasons. One, you’ve set the parking brake. Two, there is something wrong with your brakes. Worn brake pads will trigger the warning, so have them measured.

Brake Pad Depth Less Than 1/4-Inch

Finally, once your brake pad depth reaches less than 1/4-of-an-inch, it’s time to have them replaced. If you know a thing or two about vehicle maintenance, you can probably measure your pad depth yourself. Otherwise, have the depth measured alongside the rest of your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended brake system maintenance done at the proper mileage milestones.

If you live in St. George, UT, stop by Hummel’s Automotive Diagnostic & Repair for a brake inspection. We’ll inspect your brake pads to let you know how much life they have left and give your entire brake system a thorough once-over. Set up an appointment by calling us today.


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