When to Change Brake Pads: 7 Signs

October 7th, 2022 by

In urban areas such as Philadelphia with stop-and-go traffic, your brakes get a workout and then some. It is probably time to change brake pads on your car if it has been 10,000 to 20,000 miles since the last switch-out.

Other signs it is time to replace brake pads include a squealing, squeaking, or screeching sound from the brakes or vibration when braking. Let’s look at the top signs you should take your car in.

1. Brake Pad Indicator Light

Chances are that your vehicle features dashboard/warning lights that let you know when a potential issue arises with your car. Don’t ignore the Antilock Braking System light (usually the light reading, “ABS”).

It does not always indicate a braking issue, nor does the light always come on when your brake pads need replacing. However, if you see the light and your parking brake is not on, have a technician look at your car.

2. Squeaking, Squealing, or Screeching Noises

Worn-down brake pads near the end of their lifespan make squeaking, squealing, or even screeching noises. This is often the first sign you notice, and you should not delay getting service. If you wait, you risk damage to the rotors, which adds to the repair bill. Change brake pads ASAP.

3. Grinding Noises

Grinding is even more troubling than squeaking, squealing, or screeching. Grinding usually means you’ve been ignoring one or all three of the “s” sounds. Change brake pads right away when grinding occurs to keep expenses as low as possible.

4. Delayed Stops

If your car is not stopping as quickly as normal, it could be due to low brake fluid or completely worn-out brake pads. Either way, an auto mechanic can diagnose and address the issue. Don’t wait to find out what happens if your vehicle loses the ability to brake.

5. Vibrating

Vibrations when you brake are not good. They point to warped rotors and uneven brake pad wear.

6. Visual Inspection

You can conduct a visual examination of your brake pads to see if they are thin. On many cars, you see brake pads through the wheel.

Your brake pads may have a slot that indicates wear. If that slot is almost gone, it is replacement time. Ditto if your pads are extremely thin, meaning less than a fourth of an inch thick.

7. Every 10,000 to 20,000 Miles

If 20,000 miles have passed since your last brake pad change, it is time for an appointment. Sometimes, brake pad replacements are necessary as soon as every 10,000 miles.

Other signs of needed brake pad changes include your foot pressing down farther when you apply the brakes and the tendency of your car to pull to one side when you brake.

We offer brake pad service and other auto maintenance services in Cherry Hill. Schedule service online today or give us a call. After you submit a service request, we let you know if we have questions and will confirm the appointment.

Posted in Service