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When to Replace Your Brakes and Brake Pads

Having working brakes is always important. You need to be able to stop on a dime whenever necessary, which means that faulty or bad brake pads can be a serious safety concern. There are multiple signs that you may need to replace your brake pads.

Brakes create stopping power by squeezing calibers on rotors—coming in contact with the rotors are the brake pads. One tell-tale way to determine if you need new pads is by checking your hydraulic brake fluid. If pads are low, then fluid tends to drain or leak. Low brake fluid may let you know that there is an issue with your brakes.

Another way to tell if you need new brake pads is the ride. When you press your foot down on the pedal, if you notice any grinding, thumping, or pulsing, this may be a sign that the pads are low. As the brakes wear down over time, you will begin to feel it more as you stop. Many brakes also have small bits of metal in the pads that begin to whine and squeal as pads wear down. If you hear noise when you stop, it’s time for new brakes.

You can also keep track of the miles you have driven. This is not a very accurate measurement, as driving habits often affect the wear and tear on brakes. However, most brakes only last for a specified amount of time. If you tend to have brakes replaced every 15,000 miles, then plan on making the trip to the mechanic after the next 15,000 miles. Mileage varies from driver to driver, and location to location. Drivers in San Francisco may only get 8,000 miles out of their brakes due to the hills; however, someone in the plains may get up to 30,000 miles out of brakes.

Finally, you can have the thickness of brakes tested. This can be done using special calibers and measuring devices. Generally, anything less than 2/32” is considered dangerous. In fact, in many states, having less than this is illegal. Take your car in to the experts at Dan Pfeiffer Used Cars & Quick Lane Tire & Auto Center to have your brakes checked today.
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