In order to operate your vehicle safely, your brake system must be kept in optimal condition. The brake system consists of multiple components, such as the brake lines, brake fluid and brake pads. When your brake pads need to be replaced, there are noticeable indications that may present. Here are a few of them:
Squealing and Squeaking
When you press the brake pedal of your car, force is transferred via the brake fluid to cause the brake pads to close around the rotors. As a well padded brake pad makes contact with the rotor, the friction stops your vehicle quietly by halting the rotor's rotation. However, if a brake pad is excessively worn and needs to be replaced, the metal backing of the brake pads against the rotor makes a loud squealing sound.
Some brake pads include metal wear indicators that make contact with the rotors once the padding has worn away to a certain level. These indicators also emit a loud squealing noise, indicating that your pads need to be replaced.
A worn brake pad may also cause your steering wheel to vibrate as your vehicle slows down while your brake pedal is being depressed. This vibration can stem from uneven wear on the brake pads. The irregular surface making contact with the rotating rotors causes the shaking effect.
A portion of your rotors is often visible without having to remove one of your car's tires. If you notice grooves or other imperfections in a metal rotor, it is often caused by a brake pad problem. Even when the brake pad is replaced, the rotor may have to be smoothed to correct its surface. Still, if the grooves or notches in the rotor become deep enough, the rotor can not be resurfaced, and a new rotor will need to be purchased.
Brake dust is often present on the front wheels of your car. The dust results from particles of padding that are emitted as the pads are in use. If you notice a sharp decline in this brake dust, your brake pads may have very little padding remaining.
Less Padding Visible
Like the rotors, the padding of your brakes can often be viewed without removing your tires. If the pads look thin, it is likely time to replace them.
To have your brake pads professionally inspected or replaced, schedule an appointment with a mechanic in your local area, such as those at Godfrey Brake Service & Supply.