How to Check the Brake Pads

Detailed Checklist

Your brakes are one of the most important systems in your car, but many drivers forget about maintenance until the brakes break down. The braking system works when the driver steps on the brake pedal. The brake caliper applies pressure to the brake pad, which pushes against the brake disc creating friction. This friction causes the tire to slow its rotation, stopping the car. Brake repair is less expensive when you check your brake pads before they wear out completely.

What Is the Brake Pad Made Of?

The brake pad is made up of steel backing and a metallic pad that is made up of iron, copper, steel and graphite. The materials are mixed together and bonded to form the pad. While the materials are pretty sturdy and cost-effective, they won’t last forever. Brake pads take stress every time you step on the brake pedal, which means that the pad wears out.

Typically, brake pads last about 50,000 miles. You can purchase brake pads that last longer, but no matter what style you have, you need to check the thickness of the brake pads to ensure that your brakes will be effective when you stop. Your brakes will tell you when they need to be replaced.

2 Ways to Tell If Your Brakes Pads Need Replacing

  1. You can listen for wear on your brake pads. Brake pads are made with an indicator that gives off an audible warning when the pad needs to be replaced. You might hear a high-pitched screech when you apply your brakes or hear metal grinding when the pads are getting worn out.
  2. To check the width of the brake pad, look through the spaces of the wheel’s spokes. The outside pad that is pressed up against the rotor should be about 1/4-inch thick or more. If it’s less than ¼-inch, the pads need to be replaced. Keeping your brakes in good working order will make you more confident on the road.

Need brake repair in San Luis Obispo? Contact Rizzoli’s Automotive for quality auto repair by expert technicians who provide excellent customer service.

Written by Kyle Rizzoli

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