Will I Know When My Brake Pads Are Too Low?

There’s a very good chance that you will know when your brake pads get too low, but it’s best to replace them before this happens. Once your brake pads have lost their surface, their metal backing will grind against the rotors. This metal-on-metal stress damages the rotors, and you’re left with a brake repair that includes replacing the rotors, too, instead of just the pads. Great Falls Auto Repair can replace your pads when you need this done. Here are signs that you do.

Brake Light

When you set your parking brake, a brake light shines on your vehicle’s dashboard as a reminder that the parking brake is set. This isn’t the only purpose of this light. This light will also come on if there is a problem with the braking system, and it might illuminate if your pads need to be replaced. Depending on the pads you have installed on your vehicle, there might be an electronic chip embedded in the pads that will turn on the brake light once they’ve worn down too low.

Squealing Noises

Another trick some brake pad manufacturers use is to insert a warning device that makes the brakes squeal once the pads are getting too low and should be replaced. Here’s the kicker to this, however. You won’t necessarily hear the sound when you apply the brakes. Rather, your brakes will begin to squeal as you pick up speed and quiet down once you slow and stop. This unusual sound pattern helps you identify that it’s time to replace the brake pads. Keep in mind, they might squeal when you stop, too, so have the brakes inspected if they squeal or squeak.

Grinding and Possibly Vibration

Finally, as mentioned in the introduction to this blog post, if your pads have no material left on them, the only thing that can press against the rotors when you apply the brakes is the metal backing. This sign means you need to have your pads replaced immediately to avoid damaging the rotors as discussed above. You might also feel vibration in your brake pedal if the metal backing of the brake pads has already warped the rotors.

Great Falls Auto Repair in Great Falls, MT, can inspect your automobile’s braking system and make any necessary repairs, including replacing the brake pads when they’ve worn down too low. Schedule an appointment today!

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