Your brake pads and rotors wear out over time. And the lifespan of your brakes depends completely on the quality of your brake material, as well as your driving patterns.
Just as your gas mileage will vary depending on how far you drive and how efficiently you drive, so will the life of your brake pads (or linings). For further info, the brake pad is the material that gets pressed against a metal disc or drum (i.e. brake rotor) to stop your vehicle.
Brake pads generally need to be replaced after every 75,000 kilometres driven, on average. However, some brake pads need to be replaced after 25,000 kilometres, while others can last for 40,000 kilometres. To get a more accurate number for your car’s specific needs, consult your car’s manual. However, there are other indicators that can also tell you that your brake pads are on their last leg:
- Clicking, grinding, squeaking, or screeching noise when you apply the brakes.
- Vibration in the steering wheel.
- Brake or low brake pad warning light is on.
- Brake pedal is lower than normal.
- Brake pads appear too thin.
- The car is pulling to one side when applying the brakes.
Some further tips:
- Whenever the tires are getting rotated or the oil is getting changed, have the mechanic take a look at the brake pads to see the level of thickness. It’s very simple for them.
- Brake pads have small metal hairs at the very bottom to let the driver know when they are about to run out of grippy material. Replace any brake pad making a metallic scraping noise immediately.
- If braking becomes jittery, then the rotors may be warped. In this situation you can either clean or grind down the surface of the rotor in order to make it flat again. However, it is easier and safer to just replace the brake rotor completely.
- Generally, if the brakes look worn out or start losing performance, they should be replaced. If there are any unusual noises or sparks coming from the brakes, you can have them inspected by a Townside mechanic right away or drop by ask us anytime.
Good, functional brakes are the key to safe, predictable braking and safe driving.