Safety is the first thing you should think about when driving, and brake pads are an integral part of the safe operation of your vehicle. Your brakes are often the only thing standing between you and a car accident, and driving on worn brakes can present a serious hazard. In most cases, brakes need to be replaced every couple of years, but the schedule really depends on how you drive. Replacing your brakes when they get worn will not only keep you safe, it will save you money in the long run.
Signs that it’s Time to Change Your Brake Pads
Most cars’ brakes will begin to squeal when they are in need of replacement. This happens as the brake pad material is worn away and bare metal is exposed. On most modern cars, you can look at your brake pads without taking the wheel off. If you spot any signs of wear, you should either take your car to a shop to get the pads replaced and the rotors checked. Your rotors are meant to last through at least three sets of brake pads, if they are maintained properly and turned as needed. If you are mechanically inclined, you can do the job yourself with a few simple tools.
If you get a “mushy” brake pedal, that is, if it goes all the way to the floor (or further down than normal) when you are applying it, then you may need to replace your brake pads. The pedal gets soft because the pads are providing less grip, and if this is the case, you should take the vehicle in for repair, or do it yourself.
Most brake problems can be stopped through preventative maintenance, and changing your brake pads is just one part of keeping your car in good working order. Whether you do it yourself or hire a mechanic, it’s a routine car care task that should not be overlooked.