When to Replace Your Brake Pads

A hand applying a new brake pad to a brake rotor. One way to know when to replace a brake pad is if your brakes are squeaking.

Trying to figure out exactly when to replace your brake pads can be tricky. How often you should replace your brake pads varies greatly depending on a number of factors, including the type of car you’re driving, your driving habits, and where you drive most frequently.

If you’re driving in urban settings a lot and find yourself pumping your brakes in bumper-to-bumper traffic, you might need to switch them out every 30K-35K miles. If you live in a more rural area where you can drive for miles without hitting the brakes, they can last for more than twice that mileage.

Routine maintenance is always important in keeping a car in good shape. If you’re ever in doubt, ask one of our mechanics at Perfection Automotive to check out your brake pads. There are a few warning signs to look out for that will tell you your brake pads are in need of repair.

Why Does My Car Shake When I Brake?

The most likely reason your car is shaking when you brake is because gunk, grime, and debris has built up between your brake pads and your brake rotors. This is a sure sign that you’re due for a brake pad replacement as brake pad wear can be dangerous if not attended to.

When you apply pressure to your brake pedal, it pushes the brake pads and rotors together in an effort to stop the vehicle. This pressure exerts heat onto your rotors causing them to warp over time. Much like your brake pads, it is equally important that you keep tabs on your brake rotors, which should be replaced every 70K miles or so.

Why Does My Steering Wheel Shake When I Brake?

If your steering wheel is shaking, that also indicates an issue with your brake rotors rather than your brake pads. A warped brake rotor will create an uneven surface for your brake pads to press against, shaking your steering wheel in the process.

Why Are My Brakes Squeaking?

Brake pads and rotors wearing down is a major cause of brake squealing. When brake pads wear down completely, the metal beneath is exposed and the sound of it rubbing against the rotors can cause a loud squeaking noise.

This is bad as it is a sign that your pads are having difficulty gripping the rotors and stopping the vehicle, making them less effective. You’re going to want to get your brakes immediately checked out by a certified technician at Perfection Automotive if you are experiencing this issue.

Why Is My Brake Light On?

If your check engine light is on, that indicates there’s an issue with your vehicle’s engine. Therefore, your brake light coming on indicates a problem with your braking system.

Your brake light on your dashboard looks like a red exclamation point inside of a circle with parentheses on both sides of the circle. Your brake light turns on if your brake fluid levels are low, your car senses a problem with the parking brake, or there’s a problem with your vehicle’s Anti-Lock Breaking System (ABS).

Brake fluid powers the various mechanisms of your braking system. Without enough braking fluid, your vehicle’s brake line will fill with air and decrease the amount of pressure you can apply to your brakes. This is extremely dangerous since it will prevent you from making an emergency stop if you have to.

If you are experiencing any mechanical issues with your vehicle, bring it in to the car repair experts at Perfection Automotive. We’ll get your brakes back to working order so you can hit the road with confidence.