When should I change my car brake pads?

by Erica Santonata

Brake pads, which work by converting the kinetic energy of the car to thermal energy through friction, are a very important part of your brakes. Because of this, they need checking regularly for wear and tear.

Most people, however, don't know how regularly they should check their brake pads, as well as when to replace them. As brake pads which are worn out can affect the ability of your brakes to slow your vehicle, it is very dangerous to wait too long before replacing them.

There is one sure-fire way to work out whether your brake pads need looking at, and this is using the wear indicator which is included as part of disc brakes on most cars and other vehicles.

Wear indicators contract the brake rotor, and when the pad material wears down to a certain level, a squealing noise can be heard. You will hear this noise when you apply your brakes, and it is this that lets you know that is time to get your brake pads checked out and possibly replaced.

It is not advisable to try to fix your brakes or replace your brake pads yourself, unless you are a trained car mechanic. It is advisable to visit a motor repair garage instead. However, you can buy your own brake pads if you know what to look for.

Head online and find a website which specialises in selling brake pads. Using advice gained from your mechanic on what type of brake pads to buy, look for respected and reputable brands such as EBC brake pads. If the price is right, order them and get your mechanic to fit them once they arrive.

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