As a general rule of thumb, your car’s brakes should be replaced every 30,000 miles. However, the mileage may vary depending on the wear and tear on the brakes. Heavy braking on narrow roads or when driving through town will wear down the brake pads more quickly and require more frequent maintenance. More detailed information about the mileage number specific to your car can be found in your car’s owner manual or by asking your dealership’s technician. |
When you take your car to the mechanic or dealership for regular maintenance, most of the time, they will check the condition of both the brake pads and the discs. They will be able to tell you if anything needs to be replaced. However, there are a few signs in which you will be able to tell that your brakes need replacing. When your car fails to stop sharply when you put your foot on the brake pedal, it is a sign that you should have them replaced immediately. To ensure that your brakes are in good shape, you can visually inspect them. The car’s wheel will have to be removed sometimes in order to access the brakes. There should be at least a quarter of an inch of tread on the brake pad. If there is any less tread than that, you will need to have your car serviced immediately, or you risk damaging the brake discs themselves, which are much more costly to replace than just the brake pads.
A screeching noise when you put your foot on the brake pedal is another sign that you need to replace the brake pads in your car. Screeching can mean that the pad’s treads are entirely worn away and there is serious damage already occurring to the brake disc. If this is the case, you should get your car in for service immediately. You would probably hear the screeching with the windows up, but not necessarily with the radio blaring or the air conditioning running, so it’s best to do a sound check with the window down and the radio and air conditioning off. You should have your brakes inspected anytime you notice something unusual in your brakes. Grinding or squealing sounds when you brake are concern for getting them inspected, as well as if your brakes aren’t responding as readily as usual.
Since brakes are critical to the functioning of a car, you will want a professional to replace them, rather than trying to replace them yourself. Many modern cars have disc brakes on the front and rear wheels, so it is important that both or all four brake pads should be replaced at the same time. Once brakes have been replaced, the new pads will take awhile to adjust, so you should be careful to avoid heavy breaking for around 100 miles of driving after having them replaced.
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