How To Know When To Replace Brake Pads

How Brake Pads Work

Your brakes are arguably the most critical safety feature on your vehicle. Without them, you would be unable to control your car or truck. Keeping them in good working order will help to ensure you can always control your speed and bring your vehicle to a stop whenever necessary. Austin's Pro Max wants to keep you safe on the road with a few pointers on your brakes.

Basic Concepts

As you may know, your brakes use pads that press down on a rotor connected to the wheels. The friction between these pads and the rotor is how your vehicle stops. Those pads gradually get worn down by all the heat and pressure. So, they need to be changed from time to time. These are some signs that indicate it is time for a brake pad change.


Some brake pads have a metal indicator built into them. As they get worn down, the metal gets closer to the rotor. Eventually, it will scrape lightly against the rotor, producing a screeching sound. This noise means that it is time to change your brake pads.

Screeching can also be caused by the metal of the brake caliper grinding on the rotor. This may require a more extensive brake repair. Noises can also be produced by your brakes getting wet. If the sound goes away quickly on its own, you likely don't need to go to the mechanic yet.

Vibrating Brake Pedal

When you press the brake pedal, it should provide smooth feedback. If it vibrates when you are braking, the brakes are skipping on the rotor. This means they are getting improper traction. This is a hazardous situation.

Go to the mechanic right away and get this checked out. In many cases, a brake pad replacement is sufficient to fix the issue.

They Have Less Than Six Millimeters of Material

The official way to check whether brake pads need to be replaced is to measure them. When you get your vehicle inspected, your mechanic is likely doing this. If there are less than six millimeters (about a quarter-inch) of material left, it is time to replace them.

Get Brake Repairs and Services in Spanaway

Do you need your brake pads replaced in Spanaway? Come to Austin's Pro Max for help from a team of certified technicians. You can find us on Mountain Highway East or call us to schedule an appointment.

Written by Austin's Pro Max

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