Why It’s Important to Check and Change Brake Pads

In this post I wanted to cover a simple thing that so many people in my life seem to forget when it comes to maintaining your car. It’s not all about changing the fluids and topping up when they are low, making sure the car has the ability to stop when needed should always be one of the highest priorities.

The Importance of Your Cars Brakes

Checking Your Disk Brakes
This is a brand new Disk Brake

There really is nothing more important than being able to stop your car. That is why the brakes are the most imperative part of being able to drive your vehicle. Even race car drivers will tell you it’s more important to be able to stop than have a huge amount of speed of power in your car. Yet, so many braking systems often fail, and it’s very often our own fault.

The Importance of Changing Brake Pads

No car can stop effectively with work rotors or brake pads. And nobody wants to go screeching through a wall or have a possibly fatal accident because their car won’t stop. It makes far more sense that you should be able to just touch your brakes lightly and the car comes to a stop.

This is why it is vital to change brake pads regularly. To avoid costly and possibly deadly accidents, you need to be able to get the all-out performance from your brakes by preserving the optimum friction pad depth. Should you realize that your brake pads need changing, you’ll find that most of the time, it’s the front pads that need replacing.

It’s easy enough to check the pad wear yourself but when you need to change the pads and you don’t have experience, leave it to a professional.

How to Check Your Brake Pads

Checking your disk brakesTo check the wear on your brake pads, take a look at the pads from outside the front tire. Most cars these days make it easy to see the pads, all you have to do is look through the outside of your wheel rims. Occasionally, it may be necessary to take the wheel off to get to the pads. If you can do this, you’ll notice that your outside pad will be facing you and if you look at it from above, it should be pressed against the metal rotor.

There are two particular ways to determine whether or not your pads need replacing:

  1. Visually

If you notice that the depth of the pad is less than ¼ inch, it needs placing, and as soon as possible. If it seems to be less than 1/8 inch, you are very close to damaging the rotor and should not hesitate to replace it immediately. While this is just a rough guide and it won’t be the same on every vehicle, you can use it to help you determine the lifespan of your pads.

  1. By Ear

Do you hear a screeching sound when you touch your foot on the brakes? That’s not good. It usually means you are overdue a reline. However, if it sounds more like metal scraping on metal, it means you have damaged your rotors and those brakes will need to be fixed immediately before further major damage is caused.

Changing your brake pads regularly is better than changing them when it is too late and will help you avoid expensive repairs and unsafe driving conditions.

How To Change Your Front and Read Brake Pads

The video above gives a nice overview on how to change your brakes pads on a car with disk brakes. There is a little more to it when it comes to drum breaks but you can easily find more information about that online.

I hope this post has helps, now go check those brakes!