Brakes are one of the most important parts of your vehicle. As such, it is extremely important to ensure they are in good condition and work as they should. Most brake pads last between 10,000 and 20,000 miles, depending on your driving habits. If you use your brakes more frequently, such as in a city or an area with heavier traffic, you’ll likely need to replace them more often.
Like most other car parts, brakes have a lifespan that is easily influenced by how hard you drive. Constantly slamming on the brakes will take its toll. Continue reading to learn how to preserve your brakes and how to check them for function.
You use your brakes every time you get behind the wheel. The last thing you want is to have them fail when you really need to use them. Luckily, the process of checking your brakes for function is quick and easy.
Brakes consist of pads and rotors. Brake pads are relatively easy to change out and must be changed more frequently than rotors. Also, the type of pads you have affect your brakes’ lifespan.
For example, carbon-ceramic brake pads last the longest but are typically the most expensive type of pad, usually reserved for high-performance vehicles.
Rotors last longer than brake pads and must typically be changed every 30,000 to 70,000 miles. However, they might last more or less depending on the type of areas you drive in, the type of driver you are and if you tend to press and depress your brakes frequently.
In most cases, you will know when it’s time to change your brakes. Signs of wear and tear include:
- Squealing or grinding. Noisy brakes are good indicators that it is time to change them. When your brake pads wear down, the sound of metal-on-metal will alert you.
- Vibrations. If you feel your brakes shaking or vibrating under your foot, it could be a sign that your brake rotors or drums are misshapen.
- Thin pads. You may be able to see your brake pads through your wheels. If the pads are extremely thin or worn down, it’s time to change them.
Some vehicles have an indicator light on the dashboard to let you know when you need to replace your pads. You can check if your car has this light on the owner’s manual. If it does, when it’s time to replace the pads make sure to replace the warning sensors as well.