Your car's brake pads should be checked every time you get your oil changed. Most manufacturers recommend checking your brake pads about every 5,000 miles. By checking your car's brake pads at least a couple times a year, your service technician can let you know whether you need to change them or not.
Brake pads come in many different types and wear at different rates depending on what kind of brake pad your car has installed and your driving habits. If you hear your brakes squeal, that's a telltale sign that you need auto brake repair immediately.
New Brake Pads Provide Friction
Most new brake pads are around 12mm thick. Your car will have 4 brake pads per axle, 2 on a side, for a total of 8 brake pads on your car. Each side will have an interior and exterior pad located on the caliper. The caliper and the pads provide the needed friction on your rotor to slow or stop your car.
Over time, your new brake pads will begin to wear down. How fast they wear down depends upon the type of brake pad and how much you apply the brakes. Ceramic brake pads tend to last longer and provide better friction. They may cost a bit more; but in the case of brake pads, you get what you pay for.
Old Brake Pads Provide Less Friction
When brake pad wear gets to around 6mm, it is time to start listening for the telltale squeal that indicates your brake pads are too worn to be safe. If your brake pads are 3mm to 4mm thick, you need to replace them. If your brakes squeal when you apply pressure to them, that means that your pads are worn out and are providing much less friction to stop your car. Letting your brake pads go without replacing them at this point may be dangerous as your car will soon be unable to slow or stop.
Ask Directly If Brake Pads Need Changed
Make sure that you ask your service technician about brake pad wear. If the pad wear is below the 6mm mark, then you need to make some decisions. If you live in a region where it's hilly, curvy, or high-traffic, and you know that you tend to brake suddenly or a lot, you might consider changing them before they start squealing to give you maximum braking capability.
Those living in areas where you're not braking constantly or if you use your cruise control out on the open road more than city driving, you tend to have more time before your brake pads need replaced. Always listen to your car's warning signs. Most newer vehicles have a sensor that will let you know when something is wrong with your braking system. Get an auto brake repair appointment scheduled as soon as possible in this case.
Reach out to a brake shop like Greg's Japanese Auto Parts and Service to learn more.