When Is It Time to Change Brake Pads and Rotors?

When Is It Time to Change Brake Pads and Rotors?

February 7, 2022

A good general rule of thumb is that brake pad replacement needs to be done once every 25,000 to 65,000 miles. Brake rotors should be changed every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. When precisely these parts need to be changed depends on driving habits and conditions. Typically, cars begin to show signs that these brake parts are wearing down.

Here are our leading signs that your car is likely to need brake repair.

Vibration when braking

If the car vibrates whenever you come to a stop, you should bring the vehicle to a brake specialist. One common cause of this is that the brake rotors are warped. Over time, this will cause the brake pads to wear down unevenly.

Brakes squeaking or squealing

Are you hearing strange noises when you press the brakes? One of the first signs that the brakes are ready to go is a squeaking or squealing noise. This is caused in most cases by brake pads that have worn down too much. Eventually, you may notice other noises that are linked to damage to the rotors.

It’s worth noting that in some instances squeaking may not be a problem—brakes sometimes squeal due to brake dust accumulation or cold temperatures. Best to bring your vehicle to a mechanic to identify the root cause.

Grinding while braking

If you’re hearing a grinding sound when braking, this is not a good sign. This means you need brake pad replacement right away. Many brake pads have wear indicators that make noise and indicate it’s time for replacement. Leave this issue alone for too long and you’ll begin to hear grinding sounds, which means that metal is striking metal and resulting in damage to the brake rotors.

Brake pad indicator light turns on

Modern vehicles have a range of computer-operated systems to alert drivers of any problems that need attention, but even if you have a brake system warning light, it won’t always come on where there’s an issue. If you’re seeing a brake warning light that’s not linked to the antilock braking system (ABS) or emergency brake, then it’s worth bringing it to an auto mechanic to see what diagnostic code the car is sending out.

Stopping power

Have you noticed that your car is taking longer to stop? If you’re experiencing less than optimal stopping times when you hit the brakes, this could be a sign that the brake pads are completely worn down or that the brake fluid is low due to a leak.

Brake pads appear thin

An easy way to check if your brake pads are the culprit is to do a visual inspection. The brake pads are located between the spokes of the wheels. If they’re less than the thickness of a quarter coin, then you’re due for brake pad replacement.

For the leaders in brake repair, turn to the pros at Auto Truck Service Inc. We’ve provided outstanding service to our customers since 1978. Give us a call today to set up your first appointment.

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