Is It Time to Change Your Brakes?

August 11, 2021 10:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

The brakes aren’t a vehicle system most of us think about all that often. We tend to take them for granted, and that’s really how it should be—they’re supposed to work every time so we don’t have to think about them and can keep our focus on the road. Even the best brakes need to be replaced at some point, but how do you know when you should change your brakes?

Well, brakes are actually designed to let you know when they need to be changed. Here’s some more information about how brakes work, when to change them and how to know if your brakes are bad.

How brakes work

There are two types of braking systems on passenger vehicles: disc brakes and drum brakes. Each type of braking system uses friction to slow down the vehicle, but they do this in different ways. They also have different components, but in both systems there are parts that will wear down and need to be replaced every few years.

Disc brakes use brake pads that press against a rotor (also called a disc) when you step on the brakes. These pads are made of ceramic, metallic or organic substances, and when pressed against the disc, they create friction that slows the vehicle. These are found on the front axle of modern cars and trucks, and can also often be found on the rear axle.

Drum brakes use “shoes” made of similar materials as disc brake pads. These shoes press inside a drum when you step on the brakes. On modern vehicles, this type of brakes is only found on the rear axle.

Signs you need to change your brakes

There are some signs you should know about that signal when it’s time to change your brakes. One of the most common signs that you know you should change your brakes is if you hear a screeching sound when you apply them.

Just like babies, brakes will whine and sometimes squeal when they need to be changed. Many brake pads have wear indicators, which make a whining or screeching noise when you press the brakes if it’s time to have them changed. These aren’t complicated parts—they usually involve a small metal clip that’s dragged across the surface when the brake pads are worn to a specific thickness—but they are effective in getting your attention.

Be aware that this sound can also occur in wet conditions, so if it’s damp outside and the sound disappears after a few uses of the brakes, you probably don’t need to change your brakes just yet.

If you suspect you need brake repair, it’s best to take your vehicle to a professional. They will not only be able to tell you if your brakes are bad, but they’ll also be able to change them and identify and fix other lingering problems that may creep up down the road. For the best service from experienced, ASE master-certified technicians, reach out to Ice Cold Auto Repair today.

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