A good working brake can mean a lot on one’s safety while driving. Which is why, learning when to change the brakes is very crucial for every driver and car owner. Unfortunately, not everyone is well versed when it comes to identifying the signs.
This is primarily because there are many circumstances that hasten the rate of thinning out of your pads. Brake pads wear out faster or slower depending on how you drive.
Contrary to what most believe that it is highly dependent on the length of distance that you have traveled, it is actually more affected by the number of times you hit the brakes. Take for instance the people who drive in rural areas. They tend to replace their pads lesser than those who drive in urban areas like most cities in UAE, simply because the brakes are more utilized in more crowded streets.
For this reason, the process of wear and tear is very specific to the driving style of a person. To help you pinpoint the most important things that you can use to assess the situation of your brakes, here is a short list of things that you need to take into consideration.
Squeaky brakes need TLC
When you hear the brakes squeak, there’s a good chance that the brake pad has already worn down. Worn down pads won’t be able to prevent the metal piece from touching the rotor of the vehicle. This creates the irritating sound that is similar to a cat scratching its claw to a metal rod.
In most cases, the pads are replaced once a month, most especially for people who always use their car and depending on the wear indicator that they have and the driving style of a person. As mentioned earlier, it wears out faster if you use it more often. Plus, if you use cheaper pads, these wear out faster and they don’t come with an indicator at all.
Longer time before the car comes to a halt
Another sign to watch out for is the amount of time it takes for your car to completely come to a halt. Worn out brake pads are often indicated by the longer amount of time that it takes for your car to stop from moving.
For this to work, you will need to be more observant. The next time you change pads, take notice of the normal time it takes for your car to fully stop. Then try to observe the trends as time goes by. You can also try experimenting by using different brands of pads and see which works better for you.
Wiggly steering wheels
Not a lot of drivers notice that a steering wheel that wiggles after hitting the brakes often indicates that the rotors need to be replaced. You have the option to have them replaced, or if they are still thick enough, ask a mechanic to have it resurfaced.
Newer car models come with the lighter and thinner version of brake rotors and these are far preferable because they are more fuel economic. The brake rotors are what the pads clamp down to when you hit the brakes.