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When and how you can change the brake pads of your car

14th September 2021 Print

Brake pads are an integral part of your vehicle's braking system, and keeping them in working order is vitally important for your health and safety as well as the well-being of others. Replacement of brake pads should occur every 40,000 to 45,000 miles on average, but driving styles and conditions can affect that number. It is important for you to understand the braking system and how to change your car’s brake pads. 

Fortunately, you can diagnose and repair brake pads when they are near their expiration date by noticing signs of failure such as minor symptoms. You should replace your brake pads when you see these 6 signs. 

When the brakes squeal or squeak

If your brake pads are on the verge of failure, you will begin to hear a squeaking or squealing noise coming from your brakes. Over time, brake pads wear down excessively, eventually causing them to squeal. Once your pads have worn down enough, you'll hear a grinding noise, which causes your rotors to be damaged, resulting in even more expensive repairs.

Grinding Sound While Braking

Whenever you apply pressure to the brake pedal, your brake pads will make grinding sounds. They should be replaced as soon as possible. Some brake pads have metal wear indicators that make loud noises when it's time to change the pads. The more you grind your brake pads, the more damage you'll incur and the more expensive it will be to repair.

Vibration When Braking

If you hear vibration from your vehicle's braking system, this might be another indication that you need to do repairs. This can cause your rotors to warp, and your brake pads to wear unevenly as a result. 

Stopping takes longer

Another major sign that they need to be replaced is the loss of performance when applying the brakes. Your brake pads may be completely worn down or your brake fluid may be low (normally due to a leak) if you can't stop quickly for whatever reason when applying your brakes. To avoid losing your braking abilities, you should contact a brake technician right away to determine what the problem is with your brakes.

Brake Pad Indicator Light Comes On

Many modern vehicles have brake warning lights on their dashboards. The first light indicates a problem with your Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), while the second light indicates a brake malfunction.

There is no rule that brake lights will come on only when something is wrong - the parking brake can also illuminate them. In the event that your parking brake is disengaged and your brake warning light is on, a brake expert will need to examine the system. 

Your brake pads appear thin

Visually inspecting your brake pads for wear is an easy way to check if they are worn. Identify your brake pad by looking between the spokes of your wheels. Your brake pads might need to be replaced if they look like they are less than 14 inches thick.

Brake Pads

The brake pads on your car are situated on the discs. In general, they consist of steel coated or backing plates with friction material on top.

Through friction, brake pads are responsible for converting the kinetic energy of your moving car into thermal energy. Your car braking system includes two brake pads with friction surfaces facing the rotor. Your car is slowed or stopped as the brake pedal squeezes the caliper against the pads and the spinning rotor.

During braking, the friction material in the brake pad generates heat that transfers to the surrounding disc. The rotor is left with a light grey coating when the material hits it. Brake discs and brake pads will then rub against one another to provide friction which stops the vehicle.

You can extend brake pads' life by following a few precautions. You can, for example, prevent your brake pads from being worn quickly by avoiding overspeeding. You should also avoid pressing both the gas and brake pedals at once since this will cause too much pressure on the brake pads.

When you overload your car, the friction material on your brake pads can also wear out faster. Keeping your car as light as possible will extend the life of your brake pads.


It is very easy to replace your brake pads with new ones. If you don't know how to do it, you can consult your car's manual or ask your mechanic for assistance. 

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