Brake pads are major parts of your vehicle’s braking system. Keeping them in working condition is crucial for the safety of both you and other drivers around you. What if you just bought a used car? Do you have to replace the brake pads immediately? Read on to know when to replace your used car brake pads.
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Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut schedule that tells you when it’s time to replace the brakes, so you need to rely on your ears and the advice of an experienced automotive technician. Most vehicles should have their tyres rotated at least every six months, and that is a good time to have the brakes inspected, as well.
What Are Brake Pads?
How many brake pads your car has fitted depends on your make and model, although typically your car will either have 4 or 8 brake pads. Ultimately, the brake pads are what slow down your car and bring it to a stop.
After stepping on the brake pedal, brake fluid is sent towards your brake callipers which press your brake pads against the “brake rotors”. How hard they are pressed against depends on how hard you put your foot down.
As you may guess, the harder your brake pads are pressed against the brake rotors, the more that the brake pads wear away.
Overall, brake pads are one of the main components which slow down your car once you’ve put your foot on the brake pedal.
So When Do You Need To Replace Your Used Car Brake Pads?
Squeaking Or Squealing Coming From Brakes
If your brake pads are near the end of their useful life, the first symptom you’ll begin to notice is a squeaking or squealing noise coming from the brakes. Squealing brake pads are typically caused by excessively worn down pads. Once you’ve worn down your pads enough you’ll start to experience a grinding noise. This will also begin to damage your rotors. In the end, it’s making the cost of repair even more expensive.
Grinding Sound When Braking
Replace your brake pads ASAP if you’re experiencing a grinding noise. Some brake pads have built-in metal wear indicators, which are designed to make a loud noise and alert you that it’s time to replace the pads. If you leave the brake pads to continue grinding, you’re opening yourself up to a lot more damage and higher repair costs.
Vibration When Braking
Vibration is another sign that your vehicle’s braking system is in need of professional help. Chances are that your rotors are warped and created uneven brake pad wear at the same time.
It Takes Longer To Stop
Another major sign that your brakes need to be checked out is the loss of performance. If you’re experiencing less than ideal stoppage times while applying your brakes, it may mean your brake pads are worn down completely. It can also mean that your brake fluid is low. Oftentimes it is due to a leak.
For a true understanding of what’s going on with your brakes, you’ll want to get to a brake mechanic as soon as possible to ensure you don’t lose all braking abilities.
Brake Pad Indicator Light Comes On
Most modern vehicles come with brake warning lights that appear on your dash. One is your Antilock Braking System (ABS) light and the other is your brake system warning light. Your brake light won’t always come on when there is an issue. It’s also the light that appears on your dash when your parking brake is engaged. But if you’re seeing a brake warning light and your parking brake isn’t engaged, it’s time to have a brake expert take a look at your system to diagnose your issues.
The Importance Of Brake Pads On Your Car
If your brake pads have worn or are damaged, it’s very important that you get them replaced before you take them to the roads.
If your braking system isn’t in good working condition, there are two things to keep in mind:
• You are putting your life, your passengers and others on the road at risk. It’s very unsafe for you to take to the roads when your brake pads aren’t up to par. By doing so, you are putting a lot on the line.
• You may cause damage to your car. Of course, this isn’t as important as the reason above. However, without serviceable brake pads in place to help you stop, you may crash your car or cause expensive damage to other components.
Simply put, it’s dangerous to not have working brake pads.
How Long Should Brake Pads Last?
This depends largely on how you use the car. If for example you do a lot of miles with the car fully loaded, or towing, or you’re an enthusiastic driver, your pads will last for fewer miles. Equally, a lot of motorway miles tends to mean less brake use, driving around town or on rural roads means more.
Taking all this into account, a set of brake pads should last anywhere between 20,000 and 60,000 km.
How Much Does Brake Pads Replacement Cost?
Brake pads aren’t the most expensive car part, but they aren’t the cheapest, the cost of new brake pads is dependent on your car.
While replacing the brake pads your mechanic may notice that components such as the brake rotors are damaged or worn and will recommend that you have them replaced too.
Hire A Professional Car Technician In Melbourne
We have engaged with many clients for independent, personal car purchase advice. Whilst we are not a CAR BROKER, we have assisted clients with discussions on MAKE/MODEL/YEAR/VERSION of vehicle best suited to their needs, and with low ‘grief’ factors. In some cases, clients, especially repeat clients (and we have many), have asked us to either source a car for them, or assist in the negotiations.
As much as some of us think we’re backyard mechanics, you can’t go past actually getting a used car checked out by a professional to determine whether it is mechanically sound. There’s nothing worse than driving away with your new purchase, only to find that it has an issue that is going to cost you dearly.
And if you want to buy a secondhand car, have a professional inspector like German Precision do a thorough pre-purchase car inspection in Melbourne to ensure that your dream car is operating properly and not a scam.
If you are looking for the best pre-purchase car inspector in Melbourne, do not hesitate to contact German Precision or Prepurchase Check today!
sources: supercheapauto.com.au, askthecarexpert.com, roselandsautomotive.com.au, nubrakes.com