Most people don’t think about regular brake maintenance like they think about regular oil changes, but it’s just as important. Bad brake pads create serious safety risks for you and your family. At Kernersville Auto Center, we love to empower our customers with knowledge about how their vehicles work. Here’s a quick primer on what your brake pads do, and how to know if they’re wearing out.
Brake Pad Basics
When you hit your brakes, your brake pads are where the magic happens. Understanding how they work will help you know when your brakes need servicing.
- When you press your brake pedal, the master cylinder releases fluid to the brake lines.
- Pressure in the brake lines moves the brake pistons, which move the calipers. These are small clamps around the brake discs.
- Brake pads attached to the calipers clamp down on the brake discs inside the wheels.
- The motion of the wheels slows, slowing or stopping the car.
This is why brake pads are so important — they create the friction that makes your brakes work. And brake pads that regularly have to stop a 2,000+ pound vehicle will eventually wear out.
Common Signs of Bad Brake Pads
Fortunately, bad brake pads are usually fairly easy to notice. The number one indicator to check for is noise.
- A squealing noise is the classic indicator of worn-out brake pads. This is actually a safety feature of modern brakes. A small piece of metal inside the brake assembly creates this squeal when your brake pads wear down. When you hear the squeal, don’t wait — take your car to Kernersville Auto Center for a brake service. Never let your brakes get to the next stage of wear!
- A grinding noise is more serious, and means your car needs brake servicing immediately. This means the brake components are grinding directly against each other. Every mile you drive will damage the brakes and make them even less able to stop the car.
Other signs to watch for include:
- Unresponsive brakes that take more pedal pressure to stop.
- A vibrating brake pedal (this can also indicate warped brake discs, another serious problem).
- Smoke coming from your brakes, or a harsh burning smell (these are more signs that your car needs immediate attention.)
Kernersville Auto Center’s Cure for Bad Brakes
Kernersville Auto Center offers free, complete brake inspections for all customers. We’ll check your brake pads, brake fluid, and every essential safety component of your brake system. Our ASE-certified mechanics know what you need to keep your vehicle in top condition and your family safe.
To set up your free brake inspection appointment, call us at 336-993-7697 or use our easy appointment scheduling form. We make it easy to keep your family safe with regular brake pad changes — so why wait?