A lot of factors need to be considered to know when to replace the brake pads in your car. Manufacturers design the braking system according to the weight and specifications of a particular model car, and some models require a brake pad change when the mileage is in excess of 35,000. Though, not all car models conform to this standard.
It is also common knowledge that cars with an automatic transmission require frequent brake pad replacement than cars equipped with a manual transmission. Actual usage will also play a crucial part in the service life of brake pads, as aggressive drivers prone to speeding will shorten the service life of brake pads regardless of the transmission.
A simple inspection will reveal if the brake pads need replacement. Remove the wheels and check the caliper where the brake pads are located. If the pads are less than 1/8 of an inch thick, then the pads are a sure candidate for replacement.
Another way to tell if your brake pads need replacement is by listening to a metallic squeal every time you apply the brakes while driving. This noise is caused by the wear indicator built-in the brake pads that serve as a reminder the pads are near the end of their intended service life. The wear indicator will touch the caliper when braking force is applied hence causing the metallic, scraping noise. This is not harmful to the caliper itself but will cause damage when left unnoticed.
Brake problems could be avoided by paying close attention to incremental changes in the braking performance of your car. It is advisable to undergo brake inspection every time you change the oil in your car to prevent any costly problems in the future.