Brakes are an essential part of your vehicle for stopping when you want and need to. Without brakes on your car, you couldn’t drive as you can in modern vehicles. Put simply, your brakes help you get to your destinations quickly and safely. In this article, our team at Huffines Hyundai McKinney talks about how often you need to replace brake pads, the signs you need them replaced, and more information to help you keep your brake system healthy for you and your family’s safety.
How Often Do I Need New Brake Pads?
Most automakers say that brake pads can last between 20,000 and 40,000 miles before they need changing depending on how you drive your vehicle, the composition of the brake pads, the driving environment, and the condition of the brake rotors and calipers. In addition, the rotors and calipers should be replaced every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. If you’re unsure of how often or when you need to change your brake pads, contact our service department for advice and to schedule an appointment for brake repairs.
What Do Brake Pads Do?
The braking system on vehicles is complex, and all parts must work together to ensure your vehicle stops in a timely manner. Under your vehicle’s hood is the master cylinder, which is filled with brake fluid.
When you apply the brake pedal, a piston inside the brake’s master cylinder forces brake fluid through a series of brake hoses. This fluid then forces pressure on the brake pads, creating force against the calipers and rotors that comprise the bulk of the braking system. The material of the pads creates friction against the metal rotor part of the brake system, causing the vehicle to stop.
Most modern vehicles have disc brakes on all four wheels. This braking system includes calipers (a pincher-shaped device) to pinch or close the brake pads on the rotor to stop it from moving. This action stops the vehicle.
How Can I Change My Brake Pads?
While you can change your own brake pads, consider having a professional perform this critical task. You’ll need to jack the vehicle up, use a lug wrench to remove the wheel, and drain the brake fluid. Then, you’ll have to carefully remove the brake pads and calipers, reinstall new ones, refill the brake fluid, and ensure no air is in the brake lines. Because your brakes help to ensure you stop safely, you want to make sure this job is done properly by a professional.
How Do I Know I Need New Brake Pads?
Having your vehicle maintained regularly is an excellent way to know if you need new brake pads. When you bring your vehicle to Huffines Hyundai McKinney for maintenance, our certified service technicians will routinely check the level of your brake pads. If less than an inch of pad material is left or they’re worn below 20%, the service technician will recommend replacing them. Here are some of the other signs that you need to have your brake pads replaced.
Squeaking or Squealing
As a conscientious driver, knowing the normal sounds coming from your vehicle’s engine and underbody is important. If you suddenly hear a screeching or squealing sound when you apply the brakes, it’s time to have the brakes inspected. Keep in mind that brake pads may squeal when they become wet, such as after driving through a rainstorm or puddles. The brake pads should be fine if the squealing stops as soon as the brakes dry out. However, it can’t hurt to have them inspected.
A grinding sound coming from your brakes is not a good sign. It generally means that at least one of the brake pads’ backing plates is rubbing directly onto the metal brake rotor. In addition, if your vehicle has built-in brake wear indicators, they will emit a screeching or grinding noise indicating metal-on-metal contact with the rotor. If you hear this, bring your vehicle in for brake repairs as soon as possible.
Vibrations When Applying the Brake Pedal
When you step on the brake pedal, you should feel a smooth depression without vibrations or jerking motions. When the brake pads wear down, or the brakes get overheated, the backing adhesive or resin can dissolve and smear across the rotor. If the resin isn’t distributed evenly across the rotor, the uneven pressure of the brake pads can cause a vibration. Also, if the rotors get warped, you’ll notice a vibration when you apply the brake pedal.
Taking Longer To Stop
If you notice your brakes feeling softer and you need to press down harder on the brake pedal to make the vehicle stop, your brake pads may have worn out. Have your brakes inspected if you’re experiencing less than optimal stopping performance. While the brake pads may need replacing or the rotors machined, the brake fluid may also be low due to a slow leak. During regular maintenance, your service technician will check the brake fluid level and condition, change it if necessary, and replace worn brake pads.
The Brake Indicator Light Comes On
Many modern vehicles have a brake warning light that alerts you if there appears to be a problem with your brakes. You can check your owners manual to see if you have a brake indicator light or feel free to ask one of us at Huffines Hyundai McKinney for that information.
Get New Brake Pads Today
Whether you need new brake pads or general brake repair, our professional service technicians at Huffines Hyundai McKinney, in McKinney, Texas, can help you inspect and fix your bad brakes. It’s easy to schedule service for your brake repairs and inspections by calling us, scheduling online, or accessing our friendly online chat service with our team members. We use original equipment manufacturer’s parts from our parts department , so your vehicle will have the same brake parts as when it rolled off the assembly line. Don’t wait to repair your brakes; schedule an appointment to have them repaired today.