How do you know when to change brake pads?
Knowing when to change your brake pads is important! Not only for your safety, but for the longevity of your vehicle. Brake pads are located between the caliper and the rotor. Their purpose is to create friction to help slow down or stop your car. Over time they will wear out, which will impact their performance and your safety. There are a few signs that indicate its time for a change!
When Braking it Feels Spongy
Pay attention to how the brakes feel when you use them. Does it feel spongy when you press down on the brakes? Spongy may feel like you're pushing against a spring. This may indicate there is air in your brake system or that you have contaminated brake fluid. You may also have a bulging brake hose or a sticking caliper. In some instances it can also mean that the brake pads have worn down and need to be replaced.
It Takes Longer to Brake
The more often you use your brakes, the more worn out they will become. As they wear out you will notice that it takes longer to stop than it used to. You may have to press the pedal harder to get the same level of braking power as before. This could be another sign that it's time for a brake inspection.
You Hear Squealing When You Brake
Brake squealing doesn't always mean that it's time for new brake pads. Loud brake noise could be caused by worn brake pads, warped rotors, and leaks in the hydraulic system. Keep in mind that some brake noise is normal, especially first thing in the morning. However, persistent or loud brake noise can be a sign of a more serious problem. If you notice any changes in how your brakes sound or feel, you should schedule an appointment to get them checked out.
The Thickness of the Brake Pads
One way to measure the thickness of brake pads is with a brake pad gauge. This tool has a small ruler that is inserted between the caliper and the rotor. If you cannot measure them yourself and think they are too thin, you can schedule a brake inspection. The mechanic will be able to inspect your brakes and tell you exactly how thick your brakes are. It's important to change your brake pads when they get thin to avoid any type of brake failure. The minimum thickness according to Washington State is 1/32 of an inch. However, we do not recommend that you wait that long. Once the brake pads are worn away, the metal backing plate will be squeezed against the rotor which can damage the rotor beyond repair.
During the month of October 2022 we are participating in the Brakes for Breasts Fundraiser. Thanks to Napa for partnering with us, we are able to provide our customers with free brake pads. Some restrictions apply: This offer is only for cars and light trucks; brake shoes are not included; you must contact us to schedule your appointment by October 31, 2022. Read this blog for more details or give us a call. This is a great fundraiser that helps to support the prevention of Breast Cancer!
Schedule a Brake Inspection
At Graham Auto Repair we complete digital inspections. What does this mean for you? Our Technicians will take photos of your vehicle and our Advisors will share them with you. When you complete a Brake Inspection with our team, we will show you the exact thickness of your brake pads. Our Advisors will let you know if it's time for new brakes or if it can wait. They will also advise you if it's time to replace your rotors, or if you can complete a rotor resurfacing. If you have any questions about your brake system or any other services, give us a call! We look forward to serving you.
Please give us a call or click on this link to schedule online.
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