When to Replace Your Brakes: A Guide for Beginners

When to Replace Your Brakes: A Guide for Beginners

What Are Brake Pads and Why Are They Important?

Brake pads are a section of the car’s braking system that take the impact of resistance necessary to stop the vehicle. Different types of brakes exist including the disc brakes, anti-lock brakes, drum brakes and emergency brakes. In a disc brake system, the brake pedal activates a hydraulic line which squeezes the calipers against the rotors of the car’s tires. These pads are located between the calipers and the rotors which absorb the energy and heat, which provide grip to stop the car instantly.


replace your brakes


Every vehicle must be fully equipped with a proper braking system because this will depend on the safety of the vehicle, the people inside the vehicle, and everything around the vehicle. It is one of the most critical safety features and there’s no doubt that you cannot do without it.


When using a marketplace like Carpages.ca, make sure to consider the condition of the braking system when buying a used car. One way to do this is by listening for unusual sounds when doing a test drive. You can also do a visual check of the brake pads to see their overall condition.


Now that you know the different types of brakes and why they are essential, let’s move on to our topic. How to know when to replace your brakes: a guide for beginners.


Changing your brakes has no specific schedule however, a new noise or a change in the way the car feels on the road are good indicators that it might be time. Whether you know how to check them yourself, or are getting professional help from a mechanic, it is always a good idea to check once you start having suspicions. Fortunately, brake pads help determine when our brakes need changing because they’re designed to show clear signs that they need to be replaced.


6 Signs That You Might Need to Change Your Brakes


1)    Steering Wheel Vibration – A vibrating steering wheel can mean that your tires might need to be rotated or they need air. It can also indicate that there is a problem with your braking system. If your steering wheel vibrates or feels unstable when you apply pressure to the brakes, you should inspect the brake pads of your vehicle.


2)    Squeaking Sounds When Braking – When you apply the brakes on your car while it’s moving and you hear a high-pitched noise that sounds like metal grinding, it may be that the brake pads have worn out and it is time to change them.


3)    Thin Brake Pads – If you carry out a general inspection of your vehicle with your mechanic and they check the thickness of the brake pads and it is less than a quarter inch, you need to change your brakes.


4)    Grinding/Noisy Brakes – When you apply pressure to your brakes, and you hear a grinding noise this simply means you need a new pair of brake pads. When you hear this noise, it means that the metal disc and the metal caliper are rubbing against each other creating a metal-on-metal grinding sound. This means the brakes have been completely worn down and it’s time to replace them.


5)    Leaking Brake Fluid – A burning smell while driving could mean brake fluid is leaking onto the hot motor. Brake fluid is essential for a braking system to operate properly and therefore can cause the brakes to stop working if it has run out.


6)    Warning Light – Older cars may not have this feature, but many cars have electronic indicators that alert the driver with a dashboard warning light if the pads wear down to a specific measurement. Though this might mean brake fluid is low, it is best to rely on regular brake inspections.


How Often Do You Need to Change Your Brakes?


Generally, brake pads need to be replaced between 40,000 to 70,000 miles. The timeline depends on how the brakes are used and will determine how long they last. It is suggested that you check your brakes when you have your tires rotated about every 6 months. Ask your mechanic to inspect the thickness of the brake pads and the condition of the calipers and rotors. The best way to determine the amount of life left in your brakes is through a visual check!


brake repair system


We at DT Auto Parts recommend taking a look at the CARQUEST catalog to help mechanics and folks at home figure out the kind of brake pads they need for each vehicle. Make sure to reference these parts since the wrong set will affect the quality of their performance.