Within your vehicle’s braking system are a variety of parts that help the system operate properly and safely. To ensure quality performance and safety, all these components must be functioning properly. Among these components are the brake pads, which help prevent metal-on-metal contact from occurring between the calipers and brake disc. It’s because of these pads that the braking system doesn’t sustain major damage due to heat and friction, so it’s crucial that these pads are consistently monitored and replaced. Here’s what you need to know about your vehicle’s brake pads.
Just like most components within your vehicle, the brake pads wear out over time. This is typically due to the friction and heat the pads produce when they are rubbing against the disc. Depending on how you treat the brakes in your vehicle, the pads may wear out quicker than normal, so it’s best to practice conservative driving habits to maintain the pads longevity.
Brake pads will inevitably reach a minimum level of thickness and it’s important to know when that will occur. Although thickness varies on different vehicles (which you can find out in your owner’s manual), you want to keep the thickness between 3.2 and 6.4 millimeters at a minimum. Anything past this can leave the braking system vulnerable to metal-on-metal contact, which can leave significant damage to the system.
Pro Tip: if you suspect the brake pads in your vehicle are low, listen for a squeaking or squealing sound or grinding noises. If you hear squeaking or squealing, that’s the pads telling you they are at their minimum level of thickness. If you hear grinding, that indicates the pads are completely gone and that there is metal-on-metal contact going on — that’s not good!
When your vehicle’s braking system is installed with new brake pads, it provides you with an empowering level of control. You’ll be able to stop your vehicle on a dime, and it helps ensure you are always in full control of your safety. Ideally, you want the pads to be around 12 millimeters. At around 50,000 miles is when you should inspect the pads to see if they are worn out, as that is the typical amount of time it takes for the pads to reach minimum thickness. If you need help assessing the health of your brake pads, contact EEE Auto Services & Sales!