Everything You Wanted To Know About Your Brake Pads

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picture of car brake rotor
Like other parts of your car that go to work every day, your brakes are prone to wear out over time, especially your brake pads. Learn more about your car’s brake pads so you can stay in-tune with their care and maintenance, plus head-off any brake problems before your brakes decide to let you down. Link to Brakes Page.

Worn Brake Pads

What happens: When you press down on the brake pedal, you trigger a series of rapid events. As you step on the pedal the caliper apply pressure to the brake pads, which in turn puts pressure on the brake rotors. This brings your car to a stop. If anything is “off” with your brake pads, you may feel it in your steering wheel. Brake pads that are old, worn, or particularly dirty cannot grip the rotor effectively and can cause your steering wheel to quiver and shake.

What to do: Calipers were built to last for a long time. Rotors and brake pads, on the other hand, tend to wear out over time. Thankfully rotors can be resurfaced or replaced, and brake pads can easily be replaced too. A quick brake inspection at Highway Auto Rockhampton can give you an estimate of how much life may be left in your brake pads.

How do modern day brake pads work?

Simply put, brake pads contact your rotors and cause friction to slow and stop your car. Brake pads are part of a very interconnected system, a system that relies on each of its parts to function safely and successfully. Here’s how your brake pads play their part:

  • When you press down on the brake pedal, you activate a cylinder that sends brake fluid through hoses, down to the calipers.

  • The calipers engage your brake pads.

  • Your brake pads apply pressure to the rotor, which is directly connected to each wheel.

  • This pressure creates the friction needed to slow or stop your vehicle. When the rotor slows, so do your wheels.

  • Take your foot off the brake pedal and the whole process reverses: the brake pads release, fluid moves back up the hoses, and your wheels are on the move again!

Are there brake pad problems You should watch out for?

Certain sounds and sensations can all signal potential brake pad problems. Stay alert and pay attention to:

  • Screaming or grinding: Any noise that could be labeled as “eardrum piercing” could mean it’s time to have your brake pads inspected. Worn pads could cause damage to other parts of the system and lead to major and often more expensive repairs.

  • Shaking in your steering wheel or brake pedal: When worn brake pads turn into worn out brake pads, it can lead to rotor damage from all the metal-on-metal rubbing. Shivers and shakes in the steering wheel or brake pedal are more than just unpleasant. Your brake system is trying to communicate with you!

  • Brake warning light: This dashboard indicator light could come on for several reasons, none of which you want to ignore. The light could be clueing you into a problem with the brake’s hydraulic system, your brake fluid level could be low, or your parking brake may be engaged. Whatever the reason for the light, your ability to safely come to a stop isn’t worth risking.

How often should your brake pads be inspected?

General wisdom says to have your brakes (including your brake pads) inspected every 6 months or 10,000km, but your manufacturer guidelines may give you better guidance for your specific vehicle. If you’re hearing grinding, squeaking, or squealing, your steering wheel feels shaky, or your brake warning light is on, drop in to Highway Auto Rockhampton today and we'll check it out for you.

During your free brake inspection, we’ll measure your brake pad wear, check brake fluid levels, and let you know if your brakes need further service. Our brake technicians are ready to answer your brake questions and give you a better idea of how much “life” is left in your car’s brake pads. If you are ready to stop wondering what’s troubling your brakes, visit Highway Auto Rockhampton or schedule an appointment for a free brake inspection today.
(07) 4926 1303.

$197 Brake service kit includes:

  • Supply and fit Bendix disc pads.

  • Inspect disc rotors for condition, measure thickness.

  • Inspect brake caliper operation.

  • Clean and lubricate caliper sliding pins and contact areas.
  • Check brake fluid condition and top up if necessary.

  • Visually inspect brake master cylinder.

  • Check park brake operation and adjust.

  • Measure tyre wear

Common brake problems and the warning signs

  • A spongy brake pedal

  • A grinding sound when you depress the brake pedal

  • Squealing brakes

  • The car pulling to one side when you brake
  • The brake warning light illuminating

  • Brake fluid level dropping

  • The brake pedal being hard to press

  • Pulsating brake pedal