How Often Should You Change Your Brakes?
Brake Pads and Brake Shoes will wear out over time. The more often they are used, the thinner they will become. As they thin out they are no longer able to generate the same amount of friction and heat. This makes it harder for you to stop your vehicle quickly, which will increase the distance that’s required for you to stop.
There are many factors that contribute to how quickly our Brake Pads or Brake Shoes need to be replaced. Our driving habits and the environments we drive in both make a difference in how fast they thin out. The material our Brake Pads or Brake Shoes are made from also makes a difference. Different materials have a different amount of durability.
Let’s talk about the different warning signs that you can watch for, to know when it’s time to change your Brakes.
1. Vehicle Warning Light
One sign you should watch for is the Brake System Warning Light. If this warning light comes on it could mean more than one thing. It could mean that your Brake Fluid is low, or that your Parking Brake is engaged. If you have an Anti-Lock Braking System there is also the ABS Warning Light to watch for. If this light comes on your Brakes may not engage during an emergency stop. These lights are definitely things you should get checked out!
2. Screeching or Squealing Sounds
Screeching or squealing sounds from your Brakes may cause you an immediate concern. However it doesn’t always mean that your Brakes are worn out. When your Brakes are exposed to wet or damp conditions a layer of dust can form on your Brake Pads. This can cause a screeching sound when you brake.
When your Brake Pads start to thin out it will also cause a screeching sound. There is a small, metallic shim indicator in your Brake Pad that is meant to warn you when your Brake Pads are thinning out. If your Brakes screech on a regular basis it's a good idea to schedule an appointment for a Brake Inspection.
3. Grumbling or Grinding Sounds
Any type of grumbling, grinding, or growling sounds from your Brakes is not good. These sounds mean that your Brake Pads are completely worn out. That means your Brake Discs and Brake Calipers are pressing up against each other - without the Brake pad as a buffer! That means your Brake Pads don’t have that friction surface to make the heat for your vehicle to stop. You really want to make sure that you get your Brakes replaced BEFORE you start to hear these sounds.
4. Vehicle Pulling
If you start to notice that your vehicle is pulling to one side when you brake, this may be a sign that the friction materials are wearing out unevenly. In that case you may need to have your Brakes adjusted. Another thing that could cause them to pull is foreign matter in your Brake Fluid. In that case you may need to have the Brake Fluid drained and replaced.
5. Vehicle Vibration
If you feel a vibration or pulsating in your Brake Pedal when braking, this can often be a sign that your vehicle is out of Alignment. However, it can also be a sign that your Rotors are warped. The reason that you will start to feel vibration is because the Brake Pads are no longer able to grab the surface evenly. If you start to feel vibrations like this stop periodically to allow your Brakes to cool off. Then please schedule an appointment for a Brake Inspection right away!
Schedule a Brake Inspection
If you have any concerns with your Brakes, please give us a call. Our Service Advisors can answer your questions and help you decide if it’s time for a Brake Inspection. After your Brake Inspection at Graham Auto Repair, if you choose to get your Brakes replaced with us, we will apply the total cost of your Brake Inspection toward your Brake Repairs.
For a Brake Inspection in Graham, WA 98338 - you can schedule an appointment by calling us at Graham Auto Repair 253-847-2221. We look forward to serving you!
We Look Forward to Serving You!
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