Some things in life just can’t wait, and one of those things is your brakes going on the fritz. Brake failure is like a red flag for potential car disasters, with around 300,000 crashes in the United States each year attributed to it.
So, leaving your brake issues to chance is a big no-no. You’ve got to get those brake pads swapped out to keep your ride safe and sound on the road. But how do you know when it’s time to switch ’em out? Do you do one at a time, or should you go all-in and replace the whole set?
In this article, we’re going to clue you in on the warning signs that shout “brake pad replacement time.” We’ll also give you the lowdown on finding a trusty mechanic to get the job done. So, strap in, because we’re taking you on a ride through the world of car safety and maintenance.
What is the Purpose of Brake Pads?
Brake pads are an essential component of any vehicle. These pads are part of the braking system and come into contact with the shiny discs called brake rotors. The rotors are responsible for bringing the vehicle to a complete halt.
Each car wheel has its own set of brake pads and rotors, and over time, due to the constant use of brakes, they can become less effective at stopping your vehicle when you apply the brakes. The less traction it has, the less responsive your car brakes will be when you’re on the road.
Is it Essential to Replace All 4 Brake Pads at Once?
So, here’s the deal with brake pads – they usually come in sets of four. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to swap out all four of them in one go. It’s not like a “buy one, get three free” kind of deal.
The story with brakes and rotors is that they come in pairs. You’ve got the front ones and the rear ones. Now, when it comes to replacing your brake pads, you’ve got a couple of options. You can either change the front pair or the rear pair at the same time, or you can do it separately. It’s all about what your car needs.
If it’s the front brake pads that are acting up and in dire need of change, your mechanic can sort that out all on its own. No need to drag the rears into the equation if they’re doing just fine.
Now here’s a fun fact:
The front and rear brake pads aren’t BFFs. They wear down at different paces. The front ones are the workhorses, taking on most of the action, which means they get worn out quicker and need more frequent replacements.
So, don’t be surprised if you find yourself swapping out the front pads more often than the rear ones. It’s just the way the cookie crumbles when you bring your vehicle for inspection.
Signs Your Brake Pads Need Replacement
You know your car’s got your back, but sometimes it’s got to give you a little nudge. Here are the red flags to keep an eye on:
- Brake Light Comes On – That little service light in your car? Yeah, it’s like your brake’s way of saying, “Hey, we need to talk.” It usually glows in red or yellow, and it’s got this snazzy exclamation mark inside parentheses. In some rides, it might even spell it out for you with “brake” or “anti-lock brake.” Translation: your brake pads are giving you a heads up – it’s time for a change.
- Vibration in the Steering Wheel – Ever feel like your car’s doing the electric boogie in your hands? That’s what happens when your brake pads start feeling a bit worn out. Your wheels don’t always spin in harmony, and that’s when your steering wheel starts doing a shimmy dance. Not only is it a funky feeling, but it also messes with your rotor’s groove. So, if you notice your steering wheel turning into a mini DJ booth, it’s time to look at those brake pads.
- Change in Brake Pressure – Here’s one you can feel under your foot. When you step on the brake pedal, and it’s not as firm as it used to be, or it’s giving you that slow, sinking sensation, your brakes are trying to tell you something. It’s like they’re saying, “Hey, we’ve got a leak!” This change in pressure could be because your braking system is losing some brake fluid, and that’s a sign that it’s time to give those brakes a little attention.
Also Read: Wheel Balancing vs Wheel Alignment: Understand the Difference.
Who To Reach Out When Your Brake Pads Are Failing?
When you start noticing those warning signs of wear and tear on your brakes, chances are you’re dealing with some worn-out brake pads or another brake-related problem.
At times as such, it’s best to drive to a nearby shop like Quality 1st Auto Repair. Our crew’s brake services got your back when it comes to brake problems, and we’ve got just the right brake pads for your ride. We’ll swap them out for you, so you can get back on the road with brakes that do their job.