The most important safety feature on your car is its brakes. Like most mechanical parts, the brakes require routine maintenance, especially brake pads. The brake pads clamp down on the rotor, which slows down and stops the car. Repeated use causes brake pads to wear down. Worn brake pads mean that the car won’t stop as effectively, and that means danger.
Visually Inspect the Brake Pads
Brake pads with a lot of life are at least 1/4 inch thick. You can check the thickness of the brake pads on your car by peeking through the wheel spokes. Once you’ve located the shiny metal rotor, you’ll be able to spot the pads. Some models of cars require removing the wheel entirely, and it makes sense to have a mechanic take a look and tell you if it’s time for new brake pads.
Other Signs Your Brake Pads Are Wearing Thin
Modern cars with advanced braking systems are typically equipped with a high pitched warning sensor that will tell you when your brake pads need replacement. If you hear that warning, it’s best to get your car to a mechanic soon.. Brakes without the sensors produce a harsh grinding noise when the pads have worn completely through. This is bad news. Completely worn brake pads require immediate attention to prevent damage to the rotor. Brake pedals typically offer firm resistance when pressure is applied. If this changes and the pedal feels mushy, this may be an indication of worn out pads.