Tips

Brake Pad Warning Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

You don’t need us to tell you how important your brakes are to your vehicle’s safety. Can you imagine what would happen if you couldn’t stop your car, truck, or SUV? What if you were driving at freeway speeds? Advanced Automotive wants to make sure you never get caught in a dangerous situation, which is why we are a full-service automotive preventative maintenance and repair shop. Your vehicle’s brake pads will let you know when they need to be replaced. Here’s how.

They’ll Squeal

If your brakes squeal when you stop that’s likely something other than the brake pads. If your brakes squeal while you’re driving, that likely is the brake pads. Your brake pads material rests on top of steel plates and that material wears down slowly each time you apply your brakes. Once the pads get too low, a warning layer will squeal as your driving and quiet down once you step on the brake pedal. 

They’ll Grind

If your brake pads do not have a warning layer – and some don’t – you might hear grinding once the brake pads have worn down too low. This means you have no brake pad material left and the steel plates are grinding against the rotors when you step on the brakes. This is not only dangerous, as the pads help stop your vehicle, but it is also deadly to the rotors, which are expensive to replace.

They’ll Turn on the Brake Light

Newer brake pads have a chip in the warning layer that will tell your vehicle’s onboard computer to turn on your “Brake” dashboard warning light to alert you of brake trouble. This is the same light that comes on when you set your parking brake. If the “Brake” warning light comes on while you’re driving or braking, it could be that your brake pads are too low or there is other trouble with your brakes.

They’ll Measure Low

Finally, if you’re faithful about having your brake system inspected per your automobile manufacturer’s recommendations, you’ve probably been told in the past how much depth is left on your brake pads. Once the brake pad depth gets lower than 1/4-inch, it’s time to replace the pads. If you fail to do so, you may find yourself with the metal-on-metal grinding situation discussed above, and that’s not good.

Advanced Automotive is located in Stanwood, WA, and we’d be happy to measure the depth left on your brake pads. If your car, truck, or SUV is due for preventative brake maintenance, we can do that, too. 

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